This incident has again started a discussion about rumours and myths related to COVID-19. Outbreak of COVID-19 in India had seen social media platforms flooded with messages that were unverified and not in accordance with ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) guidelines.
TOP 10 RUMOURS and MYTHS RELATED TO COVID-19
A non-government organization from Bhopal ‘Vikas Samvad’ compiled some rumours, misinformation and myths that had gone viral through WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
The effect of misinformation campaign has led to several suicides by coronavirus patients besides patients running away from hospitals. Attacks on health workers were also a result of rumours spread through social media that widened mistrust between people and health workers.
Most of such messages started with ‘Good News’ or ‘Breaking News’ and are attributed to some doctor from China, America or even India. A video of doctor from Medanta Hospital and one from China medical camp had also gone viral. Hundreds of home remedies were publicized as coronavirus treatment.
1. Human organs were smuggled. Organ harvesting is being done of the patients that were admitted in the hospitals- that’s why the body is wrapped and taken straight to crematorium.
2. Coronavirus is a conspiracy. Doctors and hospitals are getting paid for showing more COVID-19 patients.
3. Coronavirus cannot afflict persons who eat garlic regularly.
4. In Rewanchal (Rewa, Satna and Umaria region) a message had gone viral that said regular consumption of alcohol and marijuana makes corona virus ineffective.
5. In rural parts of MP a message was viral that said that this virus affects only the rich and affluent class that uses air conditioners and coolers. It ensured that corona virus will not enter villages.
6. In Nimadi and Tikamgarh areas a message said that coronavirus lives in cabbage and those who consume cabbage will fall for it. Farmers growing cabbage suffered badly.
7. Application of gobar and gaumutra renders corona virus ineffective.
8. Combination of warm water, vinegar and salt is beneficial in treating corona virus.
9. The virus spreads through chicken so stop eating chicken. This message harmed the poultry industry to an extent that ultimately Food Safety Standards Authority of India had to issue a statement that there is not study that eating non-veg food spreads the virus.
10.Corona virus cannot stand high temperatures and will end with summers.