Busting coronavirus myths
With the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country, there is a surge in the myths/ rumours surrounding it. The director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Dr Randeep Guleria dispels them, while advising basic precautions such as washing hands at frequent intervals
MYTH: USE OF MASKS (SURGICAL AND N-95) IS A MUST TO PROTECT YOURSELF FACT:
- The surgical mask is not recommended even by the World Health Organization (WHO) for people who are healthy while they are going to the market or work.
- It is recommended for people who have cough, as it will prevent the infection, which is in the droplets, f om si reading.
- It also helps in preventing people from touching their face regularly.
- We don’t recommend it for healthy people. If the mask gets soiled or moist then it should be changed.
- You should know how to wear it properly and wash your hands before wearing, as it will be of little use if your hands are infected.
- One should also wash their hands before and after readjusting the face mask
EXPOSURE TO THE SUN FOR TWO-THREE HOURS, DRINKING HOT WATER AND REGULAR GARGLES WILL HELP IN PROTECTING AGAINST THE VIRUS
- Daily exposure to the sun is unlikely to protect you — there is no data available to prove this. Similarly, there is no scientific proof to the claim that gargling with hot water helps protect against the virus
COVID-19 IS AN AIRBORNE INFECTION
- It is not an airborne virus in the true sense.
- It is a droplet infection; it can go about a metre when a person coughs.
- If you are in dose contact with an infected person, chances of the virus depositing on your face are high.
- Droplets can settle on a surface and the virus can survive for a few hours
VIRUS CAN SURVIVE FOREVER ON METAL
- If it is indoors and on a metal surface, the virus can survive for 8-10 hours. But generally it survives for 3-4 hours.
- Some experts say rise in temperature may decrease the chance of the virus transmis-sion in the outside environ-ment.
- But there has been no study to prove this
ARE HOME REMEDIES SUCH AS USE OF GARIJC, HONEY, LEMON, CLOVES ETC HELPFUL?
- There is not enough evidence to show that consumption of certain vegetables or condiments is useful in the fight against coronavirus
VIRUS DOESN’T SURVIVE IN HOT CLIMATE. INCREASE IN TEMPERATURE WILL KILL THE VIRUS
This infection is taking place in tropical countries as well. So, it is not true. While some say the transmission of the infection may come down to some extent with rise in temperature, there is little scientific evidence to back this claim
ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION WILL HELP
Drinking alcohol helps stay safe and kill the 9 deadly virus? Not true, according to the World Health Organization
USING SANITISERS IS AS GOOD AS WASHING YOUR HANDS
- When you are travelling, sanitisers are useful if there is no access to soap and water.
- But, it is preferable to wash your hands with soap and water
- Sanitisers are made of chemicals which kill the virus but the chemical stays on your palms
- Once you come back home, you must wash you hands even if you have used a sanitiser
PETS ARE AT RISK TOO AND CAN BE CARRIERS OF THE INFECTION
- There is no evidence to show that this virus will jump to another species.
- It is now a human virus, therefore, chances of it going to another species is not there. Now, only human-to-human transmission is possible
IT’S NOT SAFE TO RECEIVE A PACKAGE FROM ANY AREA WHERE COVID-19 HAS BEEN REPORTED
- Not accurate, says the WHO.
- The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus from a package 11111 that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to
- different conditions/temperature is also low
THE SALE OF MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCTS HAS PLUMMETED, AS THESE ARE CONSIDERED UNSAFE
- It has now become a human virus with the ability to stretch from one individual to another.
- It now has nothing to do with the animal source. Not eating non-veg or eggs will not protect you from it because it is not getting transmitted from meat or eggs