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Whatsapp Video Falsely Claims Scientists At University of Queensland Have Proven Bananas Prevent Coronavirus

A video widely shared on Whatsapp in the past week claims that research by scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia has proven that bananas prevent coronavirus by boosting immunity due to their vitamin B6 source.

The 57-second video begins with an anchor talking about scientists from the University of Queensland being confident about producing a vaccine against COVID-19. The video then shows visuals of bananas with subtitles reading about its nutritional value and that research by scientists from the university “have proven that bananas improve your immune system due to the super source of Vitamins B-6 and helps prevent coronavirus.” 

Screenshot of the Whatsapp viral video claiming Bananas Prevent Coronavirus
Screenshot of the Whatsapp viral video claiming Bananas Prevent Coronavirus
Screenshot of the Whatsapp viral video

The final visual in the video reads, “Having a banana a day keeps the coronavirus away.”

Screenshot from the Whatsapp viral video claiming "Having a banana a day keeps the coronavirus away"
Screenshot from the Whatsapp viral video claiming “Having a banana a day keeps the coronavirus away”

Newschecker received multiple queries asking to verify the contents of this video on it’s Whatsapp verification number. 

Also Read: Claims On Doctors Recommending COVID-19 Vaccine Injections In The Penis Are False

Fact Check / Verification

Taking cue from the first frame in the video which shows the ABC News logo on the top left-corner, we did a relevant Google search. Through this we found a video on ABC News, Australia’s official youtube channel titled, “Race is on as Australian researchers rush to make coronavirus vaccine.”

Uploaded on 24 January 2020, the initial frames of the Youtube video (Left) correspond with the first frame of the viral video (Right). A comparison of the two videos can be seen below. 

Comparison of the ABC News Segment video (Left) and the Whatsapp video (Right)
Comparison of the ABC News Segment video (Left) and the Whatsapp video (Right)

The above ABC Australia news segment does not make any reference to bananas preventing or killing the coronavirus.

A University of Queensland spokesperson said that “the video is fake and said they strongly recommend people do not share it,” via email to The Associated Press

While bananas are a good source of nutrients such as vitamin B6, fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, there is no scientific evidence to back that bananas can cure or prevent the coronavirus. 

In fact, there are no single foods or supplements that can fight COVID-19.  

The pandemic has so far affected 136,187,887 lives across the world. India witnessed its highest count of COVID-19 active cases (1.7 lakh) as of 11 April, since the start of the pandemic. 

Also Read: Unrelated 2019 Image Manipulated With CNN Logo To Spark Fear Around COVID-19 Vaccines

Conclusion

As multiple vaccines have been authorised for emergency-use in various countries, a video circulating on Whatsapp falsely represents work being done by scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia claiming bananas prevent coronavirus. 

Result: False 

Our Sources

ABC News Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK7I86wjTUk

The Associated Press: https://apnews.com/article/8631011043

Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/bananas/

The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-there-are-no-miracle-foods-or-diets-that-can-prevent-or-cure-covid-19-136666

John Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

The Hindu: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-india-records-170000-new-covid-19-cases-and-904-deaths-on-april-11-2021/article34297190.ece


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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