Is there a treatment for coronavirus yet? With India under a 21-day lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been plenty of information shared on the internet which has gone viral for the treatment of coronavirus.
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A post has gone absolutely viral on various social media platforms claiming that the Chinese doctor who first identified the highly contagious virus had proposed treatment for the disease. The chemical compounds required to treat coronavirus can be found in tea, the doctor had suggested, according to the claims. It went on to claim that the news was first published by CNN.
They claim, ‘Breaking News from CNN:- Dr Li Wenliang, China’s hero doctor who was punished for telling the truth about coronavirus and later died due to the same disease, had documented casefiles for research purposes and had in the case files proposed a cure that would significantly decrease the impact of the Covid-19 on the human body… What’s more shocking is that these complex words that were so difficult for people in China to understand is actually called tea in India, YES, our regular tea has all these chemicals already in it.’
THE COMPLETE CLAIM
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This claim asserts that the Chinese doctor had documented evidence that substances commonly found in tea can decrease the impact of the virus – these are known as methylxanthines. And those hospitals in China started giving Covid-19 patients tea three times a day.
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It’s true that methylxanthines are found in tea, as well as in coffee and chocolate. But there’s no evidence Dr Li Wenliang was researching their effect – he was an eye specialist, rather than an expert on viruses. Or that hospitals in China were specifically treating coronavirus patients by offering them tea.
News reports in China in February also picked up on the claim that tea could be used to stop the virus but said it was not true.
In India, there are more rumours that consuming cow urine can treat coronavirus. There has been a long tradition in India of promoting cow urine and dung as traditional remedies for various diseases. An Indian MP from the ruling party – Suman Haripriya, has suggested they could be used against the Covid-19.
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But Dr Shailendra Saxena, of the Indian Virological Society, told BBC: “There is no evidence to show that cow urine or tea has anti-viral characteristics. “Moreover, using cow-dung could prove counter-productive as the bovine faecal matter could contain a coronavirus which might replicate in humans.”