Message Falsely Claims Countries Have Cancelled COVID-19 Restrictions
The message also revives an already debunked claim that gargling with hot salt water kills the coronavirus in the throat.
A viral message falsely claims that close to 10 countries including Britain, Singapore and Mexico have lifted all Corona mandates and is now considering it as a seasonal flu. The message also further falslely claims that Germany is propagating the use of gargling with hot salt water to cure people who have been infected.
BOOM checked the travelling rules and COVID-19 rules of the 10 countries and found that while they have made a few changes, the restrictions have not been entirely lifted. While officials have spoken about the virus becoming endemic in the future, they are currently not treating it as the flu.
The message reads, " The following countries announced the cancellation of all quarantine procedures, Corona tests, and compulsory vaccination, and considering Corona just a seasonal flu: 1) Turkey 🇹🇷 2) Brazil 🇧🇷 3) Britain 🇬🇧4) Sweden 🇸🇪 5) Spain 🇪🇸 6) Czech Republic 🇨🇿 7) Mexico 🇲🇽 8) El Salvador 🇸🇻 9) Japan 🇯🇵 10) Singapore 🇸🇬"
Along with this, the message also claims that Germany used the gargling technique to curb the spread of the virus. The message reads,"German scientists announced, after a series of studies, that the Corona virus not only reproduces in the lungs like the SARS virus in 2002, but also spreads widely in the throat during the first week of infection. Scientists suggested to the German chancellor and the Minister of Health that they ask people to do a simple task several times a day, which is to gargle with a semi-hot solution of Abmonak salt water."
BOOM received the message on its WhatsApp helpline requesting verification. BOOM has previously debunked the claim that lukewarm salt water kills the virus.
Also Read:No, Table Salt Is Not A Cure For Coronavirus
This message is even viral on Facebook.
BOOM checked the COVID rules for all the listed countries and found that none of them have completely eased their COVID restrictions or procedures.
Turkey requires vaccinated travellers to carry a negative covid test and also conducts tests among its citizens. The country also has quarantine measures in place for people travelling from high-risk countries. Travellers are also mandated to carry fully vaccinated certificates if travelling to Brazil or a mandatory 14-day quarantine if unvaccinated. Citizens are expected to be masked and get tested for COVID.
Similarly, all the other eight countries require vaccination certificates or negative RT- PCR tests for travelling. They also expect citizens to be masked in public spaces. Countries like Spain even have antigen tests kept outside restaurants and pubs so that those who are unvaccinated can get a test before entering the premises.
The European Union officials have mentioned that COVID-19 could become endemic in the future like the flu as the message states but none have cancelled their COVID-19 procedures. The World Health Organisation, however, has said that with the virus evolving, it is too early to say when it will reach the endemic stage.
Furthermore, the second part of the message is also false. Germany has not mentioned the use of Abmonak or lukewarm salty hot water to curb the spread of the virus and kill it in the throat in the human body.
The WHO does not list hot salt water as an effective treatment to cure or prevent COVID-19. While gargling helps in curing or soothing sore throats, there is no clear evidence supporting its role in curing SARS-CoV-2, the COVID causing virus.
The message also claims that the virus spreads to the throat within the first week. Even though sore throat is a symptom, the virus presents itself differently among people and every infected person has different symptoms.
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