Coronavirus: 12 myths debunked

Coronavirus: 12 myths debunked

Dr Marvin Hsiao, the principle pathologist and senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town, debunks the most common myths about the coronavirus.

Coronavirus/ iStock

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been a lot of fake news and myths about the medical issue. 

READ: Coronavirus: Four new cases in KZN

On Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa cautioned people not to trust everything they hear and to verify the facts.  

“The government will keep our people informed at all times. We did say that we will be transparent. We will let people know the important thing. Here is to avoid fake news spreading of false information. We need to be very careful in the way that we communicate about this matter. We must be responsible because we are dealing with a matter that can cause panic in society and we don’t want to do that," he said in a media briefing. 

READ: Morocco announces first coronavirus death

To date, there have been 121,170 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 4,377 deaths, and 66,904 recoveries in Italy. This is according to Worldometers

Because of the severity of the virus, many people around the world are taking precautions to ensure they do not become infected. However, there is so much that is being said about the issue, that it can be confusing to differentiate the facts from the myths. 

READ: How to keep your workplace coronavirus-free

We spoke to Dr Marvin Hsiao, of the National Health Laboratory Service at the University of Cape Town, to give us facts about the virus and debunk the myths. 

READ: First coronavirus death recorded in Canada, death toll climbs to 4 000

READ: "Employers obligated to provide safe working space" - Labour law expert on coronavirus

Below are twelve coronavirus myths vs facts:

- Wearing a mask will stop me from being infected by the coronavirus... 

No. Surgical masks reduce spreading from the infected person but does not prevent infection.

- Coronavirus can be spread via breath... 

No. It’s spread by droplets from cough/sneeze/speaking. The droplet can land on surfaces and spread by hands further.

- Coronavirus came from bat soup... 

No. Scientists suspect the virus originated in bats but not from eating them.

- The coronavirus was deliberately created to depopulate the world...

No. That is not true. 

- Coronavirus is a death sentence. 

No. The fatality rate is age and health status dependent. Currently, most infected people make full recovery.

- You can get sick by receiving a package that is sent from China or any country where the coronavirus is... 

No. The virus does not survive that long.

- Dettol, chloroquine phosphate tablets, and Lysol products help protect and fight against the spread of coronavirus... 

No. There is currently no evidence.

- Closing borders will stop the spread of the virus... 

No. Many countries have porous borders and cases already exist in the country.

- Home remedies can cure or prevent the virus... 

No home remedies have been proven to cure or prevent the virus. 

- Having constant sex kills coronavirus... 

That is false. 

- Kids can’t get coronavirus... 

No, they can be infected.

- There is no vaccine for coronavirus... 

Yes. Not yet and probably not for some time.

READ: Coronavirus: How to protect yourself

READ: Coronavirus: South Africa records 6 new COVID-19 cases

Image courtesy of iStock/ Samara Heisz

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