Everyone is panicking because the COVID-19 situation has become significantly worse, with more than 531,900 people infected worldwide and more than 24,000 deaths.
While many medical staff members are trying their best to treat all these patients, another problem exists.
The belief that everything that you see online is correct.
What do I mean? Well, apparently there have been rumours circulating online that ingesting certain things in your body will help to treat or ward off COVID-19.
And many people have attempted to take on these home remedies, but ultimately lost their lives instead.
Fake COVID-19 Treatments Have Led to Many Deaths, Including 210 People in Iran
According to the official Irna News Agency, at least 210 people in Iran, which is one of the hardest-hit countries, have died after they drank toxic alcohol.
They apparently believed that the toxic alcohol could cure them of COVID-19.
But this isn’t the only fake treatment that is circulating online. Others that have been debunked by AFP include consuming volcanic ash, drinking silver particles in liquid, known as colloidal silver, as well as fighting the infection with UV lamps or chlorine disinfectants.
For your information, health experts have already said that these things can harm your body if you use them wrongly.
And if you do take colloidal silver, you may experience bluish-grey skin discolouration and poor absorption of some medicines including antibiotics.
In case you think that I’m kidding, I’m not.
And these were all proven by the US National Institutes of health.
Some people even believed that cocaine and bleach-like solutions would help in treatment, which then led to the French government having to tweet, “No, cocaine does not protect against COVID-19.”
Naivety, or just a plain excuse to snort cocaine?
Sadly, while the harmful side effects have already been put out as warnings to the public, there are still people who choose to consume them because of their beliefs.
Spread Of Misinformation
While everyone is out panic-buying in preparation for impending doom that the COVID-19 outbreak has brought about, some Indian traders and farmers are experiencing something slightly different.
No one is willing to buy their products because of the spread of misinformation.
Previously, retailers in Delhi stocked up on Chinese-made goods to prepare for the lively Holi festival that was to commence earlier this month. These goods included toy guns, wigs and other colourful accessories.
However, Mr Vipin Nijhawan from the Toy Association of India revealed, “Misinformation about Chinese products – they might transmit coronavirus – caused a downfall in sales of Holi goods. We witnessed a reduction in sales of around 40% compared to the previous year.”
If you’re afraid about that, let the World Health Organisation debunk that for you.
According to them, the virus does not last long on inanimate surfaces, so the chances of your imported goods being infectious even if it’s contaminated are quite low.
Another misinformation that is being spread is the fact that some letters and theoretical papers published in scientific journals talked about whether some types of heart medication can increase one’s chances of developing a serious form of COVID-19.
As such, health authorities in Europe and America immediately advised heart patients that they had to keep taking their prescription, especially those who were more at risk of heart diseases.
After US President Donald Trump claimed that chloroquine was a potential “gift from God” remedy, an American man took a form of the drug that his wife used for her pet fish.
He ended up losing his life.
A non-profit healthcare provider based in Phoenix, known as Banner Health, reported the incident and wrote on its website that “a man has died and his wife is under critical care after the couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks”.
A Serious Problem
This is clearly a very serious problem because lives are being lost not because these people are infected with the highly contagious and deadly virus, but because of baseless rumours that they see online.
Please do not believe everything that you see online and do seek medical attention if you realise that you have some symptoms. Do not attempt to search for home remedies instead because you might not just be putting others’ lives at risk, but yours too.