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Fact Check: Post claiming UV Rays From Sunlight Kill Coronavirus Is Misleading

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: June 4, 2020

New Delhi, (Vishvas News): A viral post on social media claims that ultraviolet rays from the sun can kill coronavirus. Vishvas News investigated and found that the viral post is misleading.

Claim

The post shared on Facebook reads: “Live in under the sun…. cause UV ray can kill CORONA Virus … take care everybody…. we will be better soon i believe that… pray more / eat well / sleep well and stay at home.” The archived version of the post can be checked here.

Investigation

We searched on Google using appropriate keywords and found a report on the website of BBC Future titled: Can you kill coronavirus with UV light? As per the article “Though there hasn’t been any research looking at how UVC affects Covid-19 specifically, studies have shown that it can be used against other coronaviruses, SARS.” The report in BBC Future quotes Dan Arnold, who works for UV Light Technology, a company that provides disinfecting equipment in the UK.

We further researched and found a Youtube video published by South China Morning Post’s channel titled: Shanghai introduces ultraviolet light to disinfect public buses. As per the video, ultraviolet (UV) light can be used at extremely high intensities as a disinfectant.

As per World Health Organization (WHO), “UV radiation can cause skin irritation and damage your eyes. Cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing your hands with soap and water are the most effective ways to remove the virus.”  WHO also suggests that ultra-violet lamps should not be used as a disinfectant for hands or areas of skin.

Vishvas News spoke to Prof. Shailendra K. Saxena, Professor & Head, Centre for Advanced Research (CFAR), King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow. He said: “It is true that Sun exposure raises a person’s vitamin D levels, reducing the incidence of acute respiratory infection. But, while exposure to sunlight is generally considered beneficial, it does not help get rid of COVID-19. Ultra-violet radiation destroys viruses, but there is not enough UV radiation in sunlight to accomplish this.

He added: “UV light waves damage the DNA structure in the chromosomes of living organisms. DNA does have a ‘repair mechanism’, but this appears to work for mild exposure. Therefore, exposing viruses to a concentrated amount of UV light would kill the viruses. However, these viruses would have to be on exposed surfaces for this to work.”

The post is shared on Facebook by a user named Darli Thiri Aung. We scanned the profile of the user and found that she has 2576 followers.

Conclusion

The post claiming UV rays from sunlight kill coronavirus is misleading. Ultra-violet radiation destroys viruses, but there is not enough UV radiation in sunlight to accomplish this.

Disclaimer: The #CoronavirusFacts database records fact-checks published since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic and its consequences are constantly evolving and data that was accurate weeks or even days ago might have changed. Remember to check the date when the fact-check you are reading was published before sharing it.

  • Claim Review : UV Rays From Sunlight Kill Coronavirus
  • Claimed By : FB User: Darli Thiri Aung
  • Fact Check : Misleading
Misleading
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  • Misleading
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