Amid the coronavirus outbreak, a number of messages have been shared across social media - each of which claims that they have a solution to cure the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19.
Most of these forwards, given that they come from WhatsApp, are false. And keeping this in mind, we will share some of the forwards that have done the rounds, and the truth behind each of them.
WhatsApp forward number 1: Steam kills the coronavirus
A WhatsApp forward claiming that steam inhaling will kill the coronavirus, thanks to a novel Chinese technique has been doing the rounds. This, however, is a false claim and has been trashed by several organisations, including the Press Information Bureau of the Central government.
"There is no scientific evidence to prove that inhaling hot water steam kills #coronavirus. Remember: Respiratory hygiene, social distancing and washing hands are effective measures to prevent #covid19. Let’s spread facts, not fear and contribute to
WhatsApp forward Number 2
Drinking hot water can kill the virus: This, too, is false. There is no scientific proof that hot water can kill the virus. Think about it: even when you're down with a common cold, does hot water kill the virus immediately? No, it doesn't. The cold takes its own sweet time to leave your body.
WhatsApp forward number 3
Eating a vegetarian meal will ensure you won't get COVID-19: Currently, there is no scientific evidence to prove that a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian meal will ensure your safety against coronavirus. However, the spread of the fake news stating that eating chicken would increase a person's chance of contracting the disease has damaged the poultry industry in India, as this LiveMint report suggests.
WhatsApp message number 4
The Bill Gates message: A long mail attributed to Microsoft Founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has been doing the rounds on social media, claiming that he had predicted the next coronavirus and had even requested for people to stay positive during these trying times. While the message is heart-warming, it wasn't written by Gates. Gates had made a speech and even written about public health, saying that the world was not ready to deal with a global epidemic.
WhatsApp forward number 5
Eating Vitamin C or having tamarind: While Vitamin C has certain healing properties, and tamarid has anti-inflammatory properties, there is no scientific proof that either of them can cure coronavirus or keep a check on the world's biggest threat. Yet, Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor and filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri shared tweets suggesting the same.
WhatsApp forward number 6
Clapping doesn't kill the virus: During his first address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested the people of India to stand at their balconies or windows to clap for the medical staff. From there, people began sharing WhatsApp forwards claiming that the PM was a genius, as clapping generated positive energy that could kill the virus.
This is false, as it has been proven that while clapping might spread positivity, it definitely won't kill the virus.
WhatsApp forwad number 7
The UNICEF advisory: A WhatsApp forward claiming to be a UNICEF advisory has claimed that coronavirus could spread by eating a lot of ice cream and other cold foods. The advisory further added people should wash their clothes regularly, as it could be a potential surface for the virus to spread. This, however, is not the case as the lung is the perfect environment for the virus to catch onto.
WhatsApp users have been dealing with a barrage of misinformation and fake news that adds to the chaos, creating panic and confusion with their wild claims. Many even attribute their incorrect information to legitimate sources in an effort to be credible.
Unfortunately, countless people are taken in by these forwards, merrily passing them on to their friends and family or even to complete strangers on their contact list in order to spread 'awareness'.
Note: We will continue updating this list as more WhatsApp forwards come in.