4 MIN READ
Nepal government has introduced emergency measures such as closures of schools and colleges, imposed a ban on gathering of over 25 people and arrival restrictions for passengers from Europe, the Middle East, Gulf countries, Malaysia, Turkey, South Korea and Japan to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19. Misinformation and false claims about the pandemic, however, continue to spread especially through the social media. We have examined several such claims being circulated among the users of social media in Nepal.
A meme circulating on Facebook and other social media platforms claims that gargling with warm water mixed with salt or vinegar can eliminate COVID-19. It claims that after the virus reaches the throat, it remains there for four days and causes coughing and throat pain.
While Nepalis have traditionally used the solution as domestic remedy for throat pain and coughing, there’s no evidence that it cures the coronavirus. According to the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gargling with warmed water mixed with salt/vinegar helps soothe a sore throat, but there’s no proof that it eliminates coronavirus.
This meme circulating on social media in Nepal claims that drinking plenty of water, or gargling with warm water mixed with salt or vinegar removes the coronavirus from the throat.
It’s a misleading claim. It’s true that it can help people recover from common cold, but it’s not a cure for the coronavirus. Debunking the myth, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said: “There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.”
A YouTube channel called Official Khabar posted a video claiming that coronavirus can survive for 12 hours on the surface of iron. Though other tips the video has offered appeared to be accurate, this one is misleading.
According to a research paper authored by scientists from the National Institute of Health and published in New England Journal of Medicine, the virus could be detected in aerosols and on surfaces ranging from a few hours to several days. “We found that viable virus could be detected in aerosols up to 3 hours post aerosolization, up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel,” the report said.
With the end of winter, the temperature is rising across Nepal. Claims that the rise of temperature above 30 degrees Celsius would help reduce the virus are being circulated on social media.
But this claim is unsubstantiated. “Because the impact of influenza reduces with the onset of summer, many people seem to believe that it will help reduce the novel coronavirus from spreading during summer. As its name suggests, this is a new virus and we don’t have any evidence to support such conclusion,” Pushpa Mani Kharal, a medical doctor, told South Asia Check.
Latest scientific researches on coronavirus have pointed that one third of the infections of the disease were spread by people who did not demonstrate any symptoms. One research says that people infected with the disease may not show symptoms in the initial state. That’s why experts have recommended social distancing and maintaining a distance of six feet from other people.
This article was originally published in South Asia Check - an independent, non-partisan, non-profit initiative by Panos South Asia, aiming to promote accuracy and accountability in public debate.
2 min read
Villages routinely get swept away in Nepal’s most landslide-prone district because locals, fed up with government apathy, are building settlements in risky locations
3 min read
It’s clear the government wants to silence those who champion the minorities
6 min read
Sisdole residents continue to suffer health and environmental problems from the thousand tonnes of garbage that are being dumped in their locale every day.
13 min read
To get back to normalcy, Rukum did the right things at the right time, in contrast to Kathmandu’s helter-skelter approach to Covid-19
6 min read
Meet six young Nepali artists with stories to tell, styles of their own, and a passion for art that’s digital.
22 min read
Throughout Nepali history, the brutality of the caste system has stunted social transformation
3 min read
Trends suggest that Nepal will cross the 25,000 threshold for active Covid-19 infections next week
7 min read
Gelje, one of the 10 men who summited K2 in the winter for the first time, is now aiming to set a record as the youngest to climb all 14 eight-thousanders.