No, garlic doesn’t cure coronavirus. Get Covid-19 facts only from experts

Can Covid-19, the new coronavirus, be cured by garlic or “garlic water”? No. 

The World Health Organization says there isn’t a vaccine, drug or treatment for Covid-19 at the moment. But that hasn’t stopped the claim from being shared on social media.

A Facebook health page says coronavirus can be “cured by one bowl of freshly boiled garlic water”.

And several posts about how garlic can cure Covid-19 have been circulating on WhatsApp in Nigeria. They include a WhatsApp voice note in Hausa.

Translated into English, it says: “Here is what you should do to protect yourself from the disease. The disease will not affect you. Your body will fight the disease. You should use garlic in your drinking water and in your food, add it while cooking, chew it all the time and use it all the time.”

This advice is false.

Nigeria’s first confirmed coronavirus case

Nigeria’s ministry of health confirmed the country’s first case of Covid-19 on 27 February 2020. The patient is said to be a man who travelled from Milan in Italy to Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, on 25 February 2020. 

The man’s Covid-19 infection was confirmed by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital’s virology laboratory, which is part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

His condition is reported as stable. He has no serious symptoms and is being treated at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

Get Covid-19 information from World Health Organization

Social media advice on Covid-19 should be confirmed by health experts.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control told Africa Check that Nigerians should only rely on information provided by the World Health Organization.

This information includes:

‘Fear, rumours, stigma’ the greatest enemy

On 28 February, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged people across the world to ignore false information on Covid-19.

“It’s normal and understandable to feel anxious, especially if you live in a country or community that has been affected. Find out what you can do in your community. Discuss how to stay safe with your workplace, school or place of worship,” he said.

“Our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It’s fear, rumours and stigma. And our greatest assets are facts, reason and solidarity.” – Jennifer Ojugbeli


 

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Fighting coronavirus misinformation

Africa Check is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers fighting misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the alliance here.

© Copyright Africa Check 2020. Read our republishing guidelines. You may reproduce this piece or content from it for the purpose of reporting and/or discussing news and current events. This is subject to: Crediting Africa Check in the byline, keeping all hyperlinks to the sources used and adding this sentence at the end of your publication: “This report was written by Africa Check, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the original piece on their website", with a link back to this page.