With the outbreak of Coronavirus, panic has been triggered across the world. Thousands of people have been affected and 106 have been killed in China. However, in India, no confirmed case of Coronavirus has been reported till date.
With the Coronavirus outbreak, fear-mongering messages are doing rounds on various social media platforms. A message viral on social media claims that the Ministry of Health has issued an emergency notification to the public on the methods of prevention of Coronavirus.
*Most Urgent,Very Serious, Important information*
*Ministry of health’s emergency notification to the public that the Coronavirus influenza outbreak this time is very very serious & fatal. There’s no cure once you are infected.*
*Its spreading from China to various countries*
— MEENAKSHI SUNDER (@MEENAKSHISUNDE2) January 27, 2020
Most Urgent,Very Serious,Important info.
Ministry of health’s emergency notification to the public that the Coronavirus influenza outbreak this time is very very serious&fatal.There’s no cure once you are infected.Its spreading from China to various countries(1/3)@PTTVOnlineNews
— V.Lakshmi Narayanan (@narayanan5353) January 28, 2020
The viral message advisory also stated methods of prevention and precaution such as till the end of March 2020, do not go to crowded places, wear a mask as needed especially in a train or public transportation and avoid fried or spicy food and increase the intake of vitamin C.
Meanwhile, Newschecker received the same viral message on its WhatsApp helpline number from a user asking us to verify the claim.
As we began our fact check, we checked India’s Ministry of Health’s official website and its official Twitter handle. During our search, we found that India’s MoH has only issued a travel advisory on January 17, 2020, to people who are visiting China. However, with the increase in the number of cases, MoH issued a revised advisory on January 25, 2020.
Meanwhile, we also found a list of preventive steps to be taken on the Ministry of Health’s official Twitter handle. The prevention steps which are enlisted by the Ministry of Health are recommended by the World Health Organisation.
The steps include frequently washing and cleaning the hands with soap, covering one’s mouth and nose while sneezing, avoiding contact with those who have fever and cough, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs, among others.
Precaution is always better than cure.
Risk of Novel #Coronavirus can be prevented by adopting simple hygienic habits.#nCoV #HealthForAll #SwasthaBharat @PMOIndia @drharshvardhan @AshwiniKChoubey @PIB_India @NITIAayog @MoCA_GoI @AAI_Official @DDNewslive @PIBHomeAffairs pic.twitter.com/3zE5a5TRC8
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) January 28, 2020
We also fact-checked the viral message prevention and precaution measures. The message stating that people should not go to crowded areas till March 2020 is false as the root cause of this virus is still anonymous.
We also found that viral message stating measures for prevention of Coronavirus like keeping your throat moist is untrue as no country has issued an advisory about drinking only a certain amount of water or don’t let your throat dry. As per the reports, Novel Coronavirus is neither associated with spicy food nor vitamin C.