Disinfectant, methanol and UV rays: The dangerous coronavirus ‘remedies’ touted worldwide

Fake information has come from world leaders, social media – and the Kremlin, Jane Dalton reports

Tuesday 28 April 2020 11:44
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Related video: UK officials dismiss Mr Trump's disinfectant suggestion
Related video: UK officials dismiss Mr Trump's disinfectant suggestion

Donald Trump speculated on injecting patients with bleach or disinfectant to treat coronavirus; Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro called a day of prayer and fasting in response to the pandemic, and President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus advised citizens that drinking vodka and playing sport would prove a cure.

Demonstrating a profound absence of understanding of the menace of viruses and their effects, certain world leaders could fairly be accused of contributing to the maelstrom of fake, dangerous public health information on treating Covid-19.

Despite the World Health Organization’s stating there are no specific treatments for the disease, and despite official advice on handwashing, not touching your face and – if you must sneeze – doing so into your elbow, various unproven and even absurd remedies have been widely touted and shared on the internet. So much so that Facebook was forced to start showing messages to people who have interacted with misinformation to guide them to official advice from the organisation.

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