Mythbusting with truthful and factual information direct from the World Health Organisation.

FACT#1: Studies show hydroxychloroquine does not have clinical benefits in treating COVID-19

Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, (a treatment for malaria, lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis) has been under study as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Current data shows that this drug does not reduce deaths among hospitalised COVID-19 patients, nor help people with moderate disease.

FACT#2: People of all ages can be infected by the COVID-19 virus

Older people and younger people can be infected by the COVID-19 virus. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

The Ministry of Health advice is that people of all ages should take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

FACT#3: The likelihood of shoes spreading COVID-19 is very low

The likelihood of COVID-19 being spread on shoes and infecting individuals is very low. As a precautionary measure, particularly in homes where infants and small children crawl or play on floors, consider leaving your shoes at the entrance of your home. This will help prevent contact with dirt or any waste  that could be carried on the soles of shoes.

FACT#4: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus, NOT by bacteria

The virus that causes COVID-19 is in a family of viruses called Coronaviridae. Antibiotics do not work against viruses. Some people who become ill with COVID-19 can also develop a bacterial infection as a complication. In this case, antibiotics may be recommended by a health care provider.

There is currently no licensed medication to cure COVID-19. If you have symptoms, call your health care provider or COVID-19 hotline for assistance.

FACT#5: The prolonged use of medical masks* when properly worn, DOES NOT cause CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency

The prolonged use of medical masks can be uncomfortable. However, it does not lead to CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency. While wearing a medical mask, make sure it fits properly and that it is tight enough to allow you to breathe normally. Do not re-use a disposable mask and always change it as soon as it gets damp.

* Medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are flat or pleated; they are affixed to the head with straps or have ear loops.

FACT#6: Most people who get COVID-19 recover from it

Most people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms and can recover thanks to supportive care. If you have a cough, fever and difficulty breathing seek medical care early – call your health facility by telephone first.

FACT#7: Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous

The harmful use of alcohol increases your risk of health problems.

FACT#8: Thermal scanners CANNOT detect COVID-19

Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature). They cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19. There are many causes of fever. Call your healthcare provider if you need assistance or seek immediate medical care if you have fever and live in an area with malaria or dengue.

FACT#9: There are currently no drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19

While several drug trials are ongoing, there is currently no proof that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent COVID-19. The misuse of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious side effects and illness and even lead to death. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat COVID-19.

FACT#10: Adding pepper to your soup or other meals DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19

Hot peppers in your food, though very tasty, cannot prevent or cure COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is to keep at least 1 metre away from others and to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. It is also beneficial for your general health to maintain a balanced diet, stay well hydrated, exercise regularly and sleep well.

FACT#11: COVID-19 is NOT transmitted through houseflies

FACT#12: Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body WILL NOT protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous

Do not under any circumstance spray or introduce bleach or any other disinfectant into your body. These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes.

Bleach and disinfectant should be used carefully to disinfect surfaces only. Remember to keep chlorine (bleach) and other disinfectants out of reach of children.

FACT#13: Drinking methanol, ethanol or bleach DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19 and can be extremely dangerous

FACT#14: 5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19

FACT#15: Exposing yourself to the sun or temperatures higher than 25°C DOES NOT protect you from COVID-19

FACT#16: Catching COVID-19 DOES NOT mean you will have it for life

Most of the people who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If you catch the disease, make sure you treat your symptoms. If you have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

FACT#17: The COVID-19 virus can spread in hot and humid climates

FACT#18: Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the COVID-19 virus

FACT#19: The COVID-19 virus CANNOT be spread through mosquito bites

FACT#20: Eating garlic does NOT prevent COVID-19

FACT#21: People should NOT wear masks while exercising

People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably.

Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one meter from others.

FACT#22: Antibiotics CANNOT prevent or treat COVID-19

Antibiotics work only against bacteria, not viruses. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, and therefore antibiotics should not be used for prevention or treatment. However, if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.