New Delhi: Multiple posts have surfaced on Facebook and Instagram along with other social media platforms with the false claim that the World Health Organization has issued guidance stating a mixture of water, vinegar and salt is a remedy for Coronavirus especially in Sri Lanka.
A false claim that drinking lots of water or gargling warm water mixed with salt and vinegar can prevent novel coronavirus was shared widely on Instagram and Facebook alongside an image that shows a World Health Organization (WHO) and a stock photo of two scientists. No health body, including the WHO, has issued such guidance about Covid-19.
The Sinhala-language text overlay on the image translates to English as: “The coronavirus remains in your throat for about four days before it infects your lungs. Therefore, drink plenty of water and gargle it in the throat with salt mixed with warm water or vinegar. Share this message as much as possible and help save many lives. It is your duty and responsibility to safeguard yourself, your home, your city and your country.”
According to AFP Fact Check, in response to the claim, a spokesperson for Sri Lanka’s Health Promotion Bureau told AFP the claim had not originated from “verified sources”.
The spokesperson told AFP on October 9, 2020 “Developing habits such as drinking water is good for one’s health. However, practicing it with the belief it protects from Covid-19 infection is dangerous as there is no scientific basis behind the claim and most importantly, there is no cure for the novel coronavirus yet.”
And added, “Such Information only creates a false sense of protection which can divert the public from practicing measures that can actually lower the risk of Covid-19 infections – following the national health and safety guidelines.”
On the official WHO website reads, “While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease.”
There is no evidence that suggests that the virus stays in the throat for four days.