Coronavirus infection

A digitally-enhanced microscopic image shows a coronavirus infection in blue of the first case discovered in the United States. | Picture credit: CDC/Hannah A Bullock/Azaibi Tami

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a detailed advisory on myths surrounding the prevention and cure of the novel coronavirus, or Covid-19.

In it, WHO has warned people against trying to use alcohol and garlic to stay safe from the coronavirus.

This comes in the aftermath of a barrage of “cures” that have flooded social media since the pandemic first appeared.

“Cures” ranging from cold weather and snow to hot baths and hand-dryers are ineffective, WHO has said. It is actively maintaining an ever-increasing list of such myths.

Can alcohol cure coronavirus?

The WHO addressed the spraying of alcohol on oneself to kill the coronavirus and cure the infection. It said: “Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body.”

It added: “Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth).”

The WHO also said: “Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.”

See the full infographic here:

Coronavirus mythbuster

Can garlic cure coronavirus?

What about garlic? What does the WHO have to say about this condiment that is universally used in cooking, and is often swallowed or chewed raw for its health benefits?

The health body does acknowledge: “Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties.”

However, it is quick to clarify that “there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.”

See the infographic here:

Coronavirus mythbuster

Current status

Globally, the number of Covid 19 infections crossed 100,000 over the weekend.

The WHO said about the development: “As we mark this sombre moment, the World Health Organisation reminds all countries and communities that the spread of this virus can be significantly slowed or even reversed through the implementation of robust containment and control activities.”

It said authorities were making “every effort” to slow the spread of the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan in China.

“These efforts give health systems and all of society much needed time to prepare, and researchers more time to identify effective treatments and develop vaccines,” it said.

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