FALSE: Heat, garlic, ginger can prevent COVID-19
Claim: A hot environment, ginger, and ginger can prevent a COVID-19 infection.
This claim, which was posted on Facebook by user Camilah K Hadji Abdullah on June 9, cites a Filipino doctor who works in Shenzhen Hospital in China. The doctor was supposedly transferred to Wuhan, where the first case of COVID-19 was discovered, to study the new coronavirus.
He supposedly told his family and friends that the virus can be killed through heat, so an environment with a temperature of "26 to 27 degrees" is ideal for warding off the novel coronavirus and one must drink hot water to prevent an infection.
"Mag-ehersisyo upang hindi ka mahawahan ng virus. Kung mayroon ka ng mataas na lagnat, uminom ng pinakuluang luya upang madagdagan ang enerhiya ng init ng katawan nang hindi nangangailangan ng bakuna," the advice continued.
(Exercise so you are not infected by virus. If you have a high fever, drink boiled ginger to get more body heat energy without need for vaccine.)
Aside from ginger, garlic and pepper will also help, he said, as well as eating less sweet, sour, and salty food. People should avoid cold places and the virus will leave our bodies if we are always in the sun.
The post is accompanied by a photo of a bowl of garlic and ginger as well as a glass of what appears to be ginger in water.
The post is prefaced with "COPY PASTE SHARE," and searching for the text on Facebook's search bar shows that the exact same text post has been shared on a number of accounts since March. Some posts have the same image of garlic and ginger, while others have images of ginger tea and turmeric tea, or no image at all.
Abdullah's post was flagged by Facebook's fact checking tool Claim Check as potentially false or misleading.
The facts: There is no official treatment that can prevent COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
They said, "While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of mild COVID-19, there are no medicines that have been shown to prevent or cure the disease."
A number of the supposed preventive treatments mentioned in the claim have been debunked by the WHO. On the "Mythbusters" section of their website, the WHO said, "Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25 degrees Celsius DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)," as countries with hot weather have reported cases of the disease. Consuming pepper or garlic cannot prevent COVID-19 either, they said.
The post does not name of the Filipino doctor who supposedly gave the advice, nor other details like where he got his degree or what his specialization is, as well as whether the temperature he supposedly referenced was in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Fact checkers in Mexico, Ghana, Myanmar, and Spain have debunked the claim that garlic can cure COVID-19. At least 22 fact check stories from around the world have debunked the claim that ginger can help prevent or cure the disease. Fact checkers in India, Ukraine, and Indonesia have also debunked the claim that the novel coronavirus "dies" in temperatures of 26 to 27 degrees Celsius. – Vernise L Tantuco/Rappler.com