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COVID-19: FACT VS FICTION

Celebs should be careful while sharing medical messages on social media, says Dr. KK Aggarwal

coronavirus-crisis Updated: Mar 30, 2020 14:58 IST
Prerna Gauba
Prerna Gauba
Hindustan Times
Dr Aggarwal claims that the belief that the virus spread due to the Chinese eating bats is also wrong
Dr Aggarwal claims that the belief that the virus spread due to the Chinese eating bats is also wrong(Photo: Amal KS/HT PHoto)

If you are a celebrity, people are bound to pay attention to you. Bollywood actors have been posting coronavirus awareness videos on social media. While actor Kartik Aaryan shared a monologue to explain the do’s and don’ts to fight the virus, actor Anushka Sharma and cricketer Virat Kohli’s video urged people to stay at home.

Grab of a now deleted tweet by Amitabh Bachchan
Grab of a now deleted tweet by Amitabh Bachchan

However, a recent video posted on Twitter by actor Amitabh Bachchan stated incorrect facts, claims Dr KK Aggarwal, physician and cardiologist. The actor had said in the video that “coronavirus ka mareez agar poore tarike se theek bhi ho jaye tab bhi kuch hafton tak uske mal me coronavirus zinda reh sakta hai.. Yadi aise kisi vyakti ke mal par koi makkhi baith jaaye ya fir woh makkhi phal sabzi aur khane par baith jaye toh usse yeh bimari phail sakti hai (If a fly sits on the excreta of a person who had coronavirus and then sits on fruits, vegetables or any food item, the virus can spread). Dr Aggarwal believes that it’s a false claim that flies can spread coronavirus. The virus is transmitted by respiratory secretions and not flies, he claims.

“Creating awareness is good. People treat stars as ‘bhagwan’. But they shouldn’t spread unverified information. One should attribute the information to World Health Organisation while giving out scientific messages. Or else it’s just your personal view,” says Dr Aggarwal, president of the Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania and former national president of Indian Medical Association.

Dr Aggarwal claims that the belief that the virus spread due to the Chinese eating bats is also wrong. “It hasn’t spread due to eating bats. To bring down body heat in summer, bats wet their wings with saliva. When they move their wings, the sputum spreads aerosol in the air. The virus may have spread because of that,” claims Dr Aggarwal.

The doctor also claims that we can’t be sure that rising temperature during summer would kill the virus. “This virus is a protein with a layer of fat. Heat would make it fall on the ground, and if the ground is hot, the heat may kill it. But with the rise in temperature, we’ll use air conditioning, so heat may or may not be able to kill it,” he says.

Our attempts to get a reaction from Amitabh Bachchan on the subject failed. HT could not independently verify the claims from either sides.

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