By Ebere Agozie
CLAIM: Recently, a viral message on WhatsApp claimed that a simple solution to the Coronavirus has been revealed and that it has been confirmed and tested that Palm oil could stop the spread of the virus. The message was also alleged to have been signed at the bottom by the World Health Organisation.
VERDICT: FALSE. No evidence, research papers or discoveries, not even advice from the quoted WHO agrees with the claim.
FULL TEXT of the WhatsApp message
SIMPLE SOLUTION TO CORONA VIRUS REVEALED.
God is wonderful, as deadly as Corona Virus is, it has been confirmed and tested that Palm oil can stop the spread of the virus.
Experts have advised, we drink two spoonful of palm oil every morning to avoid the continuous spread of the virus.
Plz help share and spread this important message urgently to your families, friends and love ones.
Your message can save millions of lives.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
As the world grapples with the havoc wreaked by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so many unverified items of health information are flying around.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with no known cure or vaccine and remains a threat to humanity, as such, information on how best to combat it, prevent and curb its spread is a top priority for many nations.
The confusion that followed the pandemic and the quest for urgent solution have also made even experts give out information which they later discovered to be inaccurate.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is not left out on this: WHO is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) responsible for international public health. It advocates for universal healthcare, sets international health standards and guidelines, and collects data on global health issues.
WHO also shared some information on the new coronavirus which it later changed.
In a tweet shared on January 14, the WHO stated that Chinese authorities had found no clear evidence of coronavirus human-human transmission, although it has since reversed its submission on this statement, saying COVID-19 can indeed spread from human to human.
This goes to show that everybody should be very careful and not rush into giving out information.
HOW DOES CORONAVIRUS WORK? People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus as the disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person.
VERIFICATION: The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) did a search including visiting the quoted WHO’s website and found no advice on using palm oil to cure covid-19.
The WHO website rather gave the following advice as protection measures for everyone while stressing that there is no cure or vaccine for covid-19.
“Reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by regular cleaning of hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
“Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing and avoid touching of eyes, nose and mouth.
“If you have a fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance and, if possible, avoid traveling to places, especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.”
Also, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has, in its twitter handle, severally warned the public against fake information.
The tweet reads: Beware of unverified messages on social media!
These DO NOT protect against #COVID19:
*Consuming hot lemon, palm oil, ginger or garlic
*Gargling with salt water
*Drinking or spraying dettol on your body
CONCLUSION: Palm Oil does not cure the coronavirus, no evidence, research papers or discoveries, not even advice from the quoted WHO, agree with the claim.
Another important message to the public is that the virus that causes #COVID19 is mostly spread when people travel, meet physically or visit public places.
Coronavirus does not move by itself, it only spreads when you move around, so if we stop moving, it stops spreading.
Please #stay at home to #stay safe.
The responsibility to mitigate the spread of this virus lies with you and I.