Beware of the WhatsApp hoaxes about COVID-19 that are spreading as fast as the Coronavirus

A popular hoax on the world's largest messaging app claims to offer a simple and easy 'home remedy' to treat coronavirus, but you should probably delete the message

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak situation has become the hottest topic of discussion and continues to dominate the headlines. Reports of new cases and preventive measures taken up by governments and major companies to help safeguard citizens and employees are everywhere, and why shouldn't they?

The deadly virus which originated in China last year has grown to become a pandemic which has spread to over 120 locations around the world and claimed the lives of over 5,000 people and infected well over 140,000 people. However, there are some people who seem to be "capitalising" on this public health emergency and spreading fake news and hoaxes for personal gain or benefit or just for fun.

Coronavirus treatment hoaxes on the rise

Wuhan Coronavirus
Twitter / Imran Iftikhar

As a matter of fact, there's plenty of misinformation that is being spread on social media sites with regards to COVID 19. It's not unusual that you wake up to at least a couple or more coronavirus related messages on your WhatsApp, some claiming that it is a consequence of human disobedience to God, while some show fake videos of people "acting" as coronavirus victims. There are also messages that tell you how to treat coronavirus at home.

As some of us might know, there's yet to be a known treatment for COVID-19, but some of these WhatsApp "vigilantes" seems to be spreading hoax messages that claim the treatment for Coronavirus could be something as simple and as readily available as the onion or garlic available in your kitchen. One such "popular" hoax that has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp and one which is making many people take it seriously is a message that seems to suggest that coronavirus can be treated with "freshly boiled garlic water."

The boiled garlic water treatment

The message reads: "Pass it please. Good news, Wuhan's coronavirus can be cured by one bowl of freshly boiled garlic water. An old Chinese doctor has proven its efficiency. Many patients have also proven this to be effective. Eight (8) cloves of chopped garlic, add seven (7) cups of water and bring to boil. Eat and drink the boiled garlic water, overnight improvement and healing. Glad to share this."

It is clearly a hoax, and there's no evidence to prove the suggested remedy actually works. If something as simple as "boiled garlic water" could cure a deadly virus, doctors would have surely recommended it. The NHS website clearly states "there is no specific treatment for coronavirus." In fact, coronavirus is not helped by antibiotics too, as they do not work against viruses.

What doctors say

Rather doctors and health bodies advise people who are showing coronavirus symptoms, which include high temperature and continuous cough, to immediately go for a test and to self-isolate or self-quarantine, meaning no close contact with the public. In simpler terms, you will have to stay away from people, until you have recovered.

And while the world's most popular messaging app, does advise against sharing and forwarding of spam and hoax messages on its platform, it is advised to please not fall prey to hoaxes and spams. Use your judgement, if you have received any message claiming to offer a quick and easy treatment for coronavirus, to kindly ignore it and delete it, unless it has been issued by a major health body such as the NHS or the WHO.

Related topics : Coronavirus