With the coronavirus (COVID-19) resulting in over 2,600 deaths in China, several messages in Telugu have been doing the rounds on WhatsApp in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
One such message doing the rounds claims that coronavirus is spreading fast in Guntur district, with 10 reported cases and four deaths. However, authorities have denied this, as the state has not seen a single suspected case so far. They also said that there was no need to worry.
The messages doing the rounds on coronavirus are a mix of partial truths and falsehoods, making them seem more believable. For example, the message which claims that people have died in Guntur district, asks people to wash their hands and wear masks, which can prevent the spread of the disease. But the same message also asks people to stop eating non-vegetarian food.
This has been disproved by many experts including authorities of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
"The methods of cooking meat in India are extremely safe. We expose the meat to a temperature of 100 degrees, at which no virus can survive. In addition to the high temperature, Indian cooking includes an abundant use of turmeric and other spices which have antibiotic medicinal benefits," a message by Dr Venkateshwar Redy, Chief Veterinary Officer of the GHMC stated.
"Indian cooked chicken and eggs are very safe for consumption. I appeal to the public, against believing the fake information that is being provided through social media," the message added.
Another viral message quotes the AYUSH ministry saying that homeopathic medicine Arsenicum album 30 can prevent the coronavirus. But the World Health Organisation (WHO) has clarified that there is no medicine till date, to prevent the virus.
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