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Fact Check: This viral message on novel coronavirus is NOT issued by UNICEF

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: March 11, 2020

A viral post on social media claims that coronavirus dies at a temperature above 26 – 27 degrees Celcius. It further states that drinking hot water and sun exposure will do the trick. Staying away from icecream and cold drink is also advised in the viral post. The message in the viral post mentions UNICEF as its source of information. Vishvas News investigated and found that the viral message is fake.

Claim

A post shared on social media by a page named Clean and Green Services reads: Coronavirus Information Source: UNICEF. IF THE VIRUS IS EXPOSED TO A TEMPERATURE OF 26 – 27 DEGREES CELCIUS IT WILL BE KILLED, AS IT DOES NOT LIVE IN HOT REGIONS. ALSO DRINKING HOT WATER AND SUN EXPOSURE WILL DO THE TRICK AND STAYING AWAY FROM ICE CREAM AND COLD FOOD IS ADVISED. The archived link of the post can be checked here.

Investigation

As can be seen, the message in the post mentions UNICEF as its source of information.

Vishvas News spoke to Dr. Kanupriya Singhal, Health Specialist, UNICEF and shared the viral image with her. She said that UNICEF didn’t send out such a message.

“UNICEF has NOT released any such report.”

According to the viral post, the novel coronavirus dies at temperatures above 26/27 degrees. However, medical experts have not made such specific claims about the new virus.

As per Dr. Kanpuriya Singhal, “The sensitivity of this virus to temperature is not known as yet. It is important to rely on only trusted sources of information like the official website of Health ministry, WHO website or UNICEF websites. Fake posts and misinformation should not be shared on social media without verifications.”

Christopher Tidey, Communications Specialist, UNICEF replied to us over mail, “That post is NOT from UNICEF and is not accurate. All around the world, people are taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families from coronavirus. Sound preparation, based on scientific evidence, is what is needed at this time. However, while many people are sharing information about the virus and how to protect against it, only some of that information is useful or reliable. Misinformation during times of a health crisis can result in people being left unprotected or more vulnerable to the virus. It can also spread paranoia, fear, and stigmatization, and have other consequences like offering a false sense of protection.”

Vishvas News further investigated and found a report on the official website of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As per the report, It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months.  At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer.  There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.”

The viral post further states that drinking hot water and sun exposure will help.

We found no evidence that drinking hot water, being exposed to the sun could prevent infection. As per Dr. Sajeev Kumar, General Physician, “This is not proven. There is no cure for novel coronavirus so far. Coronavirus is spread through close contact with an affected person having respiratory issues like coughing and sneezing.

The viral post also states that people should stay away from icecreams and cold drinks.

When we investigated we found that Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for Partnerships has released a statement on coronavirus misinformation.

The statement refutes such misleading claims on coronavirus, “A recent erroneous online message circulating in several languages around the world and purporting to be a UNICEF communication appears to indicate, among other things, that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease. This is, of course, wholly untrue.”

Vishvas News earlier debunked a similar claim that can be checked here.

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.

Conclusion: The viral message on novel coronavirus is NOT issued by UNICEF.

  • Claim Review : If the virus is exposed to a temperatureof 26 - 27 degrees celcius it will be killed
  • Claimed By : FB Page: Clean & Green Services
  • Fact Check : False
False
    Symbols that define nature of fake news
  • True
  • Misleading
  • False

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