From the idea that drinking bleach can kill the coronavirus to a theory that the virus was created in a lab as a bioweapon, the COVID-19 pandemic has given birth to several conspiracy theories. And, such false information can have serious consequences. While people are slowly getting educated about the novel virus, COVID-19 conspiracy theories refuse to die down.
A netizen took to Twitter and shared a pamphlet he received tucked inside a newspaper with certain information or rather misinformation on COVID-19. Taking to the microblogging site, actor Ashwin Mushran wrote: "This came as a pamphlet with the papers today. I don't think the newspaper guy even knows what was being inserted."
He shared two photos of the pamphlets, which said, "the COVID-10 tests are not reliable and the PCR test does not test for the virus but a small section of its genetic material".
The pamphlet further stated that some countries like Sweden, Japan, Belarus, etc., defeated the virus without lockdown. But, “there is no data available on lockdown deaths in India but in USA, lockdown deaths have crossed COVID-19 deaths”, the pamphlet states.
The pamphlet also said that N-95 and surgical masks are ineffective to stop the spread of virus. These masks have negative consequences like reducing oxygen and increasing CO2 concentration in the body, weakening the immune system, etc. It also claimed that people in India and around the world have died of heart attacks due to wearing masks while running.
Meanwhile, the second pamphlet said that there is an agenda to bring in a second wave within a year from now and governments worldwide will impose stricter lockdowns and will ask people to rejoin society only after being vaccinated.
While this pamphlet stated unverified and misinformation, another user shared a website about conspiracy theories. "Amazing how conspiratorial thinking has metastasised into everyday life. In the midst of a frigging pandemic. This website literally promotes conspiracy theories. “Welcome to India’s Home for Conspiracy Research and Free Thinking” it says. So good," the user wrote.
Several netizens have called out people for sharing such conspiracy theories. Here's what Tweeple had to say:
India's COVID-19 caseload neared 60 lakh with 88,600 fresh infections being reported on Sunday, while the number of people having recuperated from the disease crossed 49 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 82.46 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry.
The total coronavirus cases mounted to 59,92,532, while the death toll climbed to 94,503 with 1,124 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours, data updated at 8 am showed. The total recoveries have surged to 49,41,627, and there are 9,56,402 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 15.96 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.