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5 things that absolutely CANNOT prevent or cure a novel coronavirus infection

Updated on:4 March 2020, 18:32pm IST
Welcome to the Indian world of misinformation, where our politicians suggest bizzare remedies for coronavirus and fake WhatsApp messages rule our phones. But today, we’re putting all that to rest.
Meghna Kriplani
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Fighting coronavirus isn’t enough. It is also important to stop misinformation about it. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Welcome to the world of the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19. Although the virus is yet to establish global dominion, such is the terror of this microorganism that we are willing to believe just about anything anyone says about it.

Case in point: As the Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Delhi and Telangana, Indians found themselves subjected to varied opinions on the subject matter–right from those of Google enthusiasts to not-so-enthusiastic politicians. 

While some of them promise to reduce your chances of an infection, others claim to cure coronavirus completely–but none of them actually work. So, here we present 5 things that cannot prevent or cure a COVID-19 infection.

1. Being mentally fit won’t help you prevent a coronavirus infection
To you, a discerning reader, this may sound like a no-brainer. And yet, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath cited overcoming mental ailments, especially through yoga, as a way of preventing a COVID-19 infection at a press conference last evening.

While yoga and optimum mental health can help you lead a fairly disease-free life, the only way to prevent a coronavirus infection is to avoid close contact with a carrier of the virus and take the advised precautionary measures.

how to prevent coronavirus
Yoga is good for many things. Preventing a COVID-19 infection isn’t one of them. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Cow urine will certainly not do the job
This golden remedy was actually suggested by Suman Haripriya, a BJP MLA from Assam. If news sources are to be believed then the MLA made the following comments in front of the Assam assembly recently: “Coronavirus is an airborne disease and it can be cured by using gaumutra and cow dung.”

Needless to say, that had cow urine been the cure then scientists the world over wouldn’t be scrambling to find a vaccine to curb this virus. According to the World Health Organisation, there are no specific medicines as of now to treat coronavirus.

3. Oh, and if you are trusting homeopathy to save you from coronavirus–then read this
In late January, the Ministry of AYUSH released an advisory asking Indians to maintain good personal hygiene (full marks for this!) and take some Unani and homeopathy medicines to prevent an infection.

If you’ve come this far then you know that natural remedies–much like antibiotics–can not help you prevent infection. What these remedies can perhaps do (though we haven’t taken a medical consultation on this and we would urge you to seek your physician’s inputs) is boost your immunity.

4. Garlic cannot prevent a coronavirus infection either
Well, we can’t blame Indian politicians for this one. Circulated wide and far enough for the WHO to issue advisory on it, garlic’s antimicrobial properties have created such a rage that the prices of this bulb are skyrocketing now. Sadly, though garlic can’t offer us a suraksha kavaj from coronavirus. And this graphic from the WHO is proof:

how to prevent coronavirus
Image courtesy: WHO

5. Sesame oil cannot block coronavirus from entering your body
We wish we could tell you where this falsehood came from, but sesame oil–cold pressed or otherwise–has absolutely no bearing when it comes to COVID-19. Not to be mistaken for chemical disinfectants like bleach and such, sesame might be great for joint pain and oil pulling–but it doesn’t possess any coronavirus killing properties.

Listen:

But if you are still looking for a foolproof way to prevent infection–which may or may not exist–then repeat after us: avoid close contact with people showing flu-like symptoms; wash your hands frequently; don’t touch your eyes, mouth, and nose with dirty hands; and maintain good personal hygiene. Oh, and don’t panic! That’s the best you can do.  

Meghna Kriplani Meghna Kriplani

Waging a war against diets one cookie at a time, Meghna is a content creator and editor focusing on women's issues, wellness, and lifestyle.