Several fake messages have been doing the rounds ever since three cases of coronavirus have been detected in the country.

TNM fact check Drinking alcohol avoiding non-veg wont help prevent coronavirus
Delve Coronavirus Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 19:22

Can drinking alcohol and avoiding non-vegetarian food prevent people from getting infected with coronavirus? Ever since three positive cases of coronavirus have been reported from Kerala, several fake messages have been circulated on social media. Seven people have been arrested in Kerala for sharing fake news on coronavirus, despite Health Minister KK Shailaja reminding that stern action will be taken against who spread fake news.  

A recent viral message, which is in Malayalam, claimed that ‘wetting your throat,’ drinking alcohol, and avoiding non-vegetarian food will prevent coronavirus.

This message is fake. Wetting throat frequently, drinking alcohol will not prevent a person from getting infected. No medicine has been invented for the virus at a homoeopathy clinic in Bengaluru, either. 

Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, a gastroenterologist, working with a private hospital in Kochi has written in detail about the reality behind the fake messages on Facebook.

The claim that the infection can be prevented by wearing an ordinary mask is also untrue. WHO has stated that not just N-95 masks, other prescribed precautions, like washing hands, covering your mouth and nose while sneezing, etc., must also be followed.

The message also claimed that “wetting the throat often,” or drinking alcohol, will prevent the virus. According to Dr Rajeev, the message that alcohol will prevent the virus infection has been fabricated and the message is “100 per cent wrong.”

The person, who is suspected to have an infection, should be referred to a hospital following the protocol issued by the government. In every district in Kerala, two government hospitals, either the general hospital or medical college hospital, are equipped to deal with suspected coronavirus cases. Some private hospitals have also volunteered for it, nodal officer Dr Amar Fettle told TNM.

Those who suspect to have symptoms of it should contact the Direct Intervention System for Health Awareness (DISHA).

"Don't go to the hospital directly, contact DISHA, follow the instructions from there, come to the hospital in a vehicle arranged by the hospital or in a private vehicle and don't ever use public transport," Dr Amar said.

Likewise, those who come from virus-affected regions should inform the health department. Those who are on home quarantine, as well as their family members, should abstain from going to public places and should refrain from conducting public functions, like weddings.