The second wave of coronavirus pandemic in India is extremely serious. Each day, the number of cases sees a significant surge, with medical supplies and hospital bed shortages. While the country is dealing with a massive crisis, there come social media, which has been extremely active in sharing COVID-19-related updates. However, some of them consist of misinformation, creating panic amid the already stressful situation. Fake news, WhatsApp forwards with false claims and more have seen an increase during the pandemic. Some of the misinformation from 2020 resurfaced online such as the Nostradamus’ theory about coronavirus prediction. Therefore, it is important to stay informed and verify the claims with authentic sources. In the latest COVID-19 fact check series, we bring you the top five fake social media messages that have returned from 2020.

1. Holding Breath for 10 Seconds As 'Self-Check Test'

Fake Information: If you can hold your breath for more ten seconds can confirm that you don't have COVID-19 is what the viral message claimed.

Debunked: The Press Information Bureau (PIB) dismissed the claim and said that it was misleading. "Being able to hold your breathe for 10 seconds or more without discomfort 'DOES NOT' mean you are free from the Coronavirus. Best way to confirm the COVID-19 is a test," tweeted COVID News by MIB.


2. COVID-19 Vaccine Turned Patients Into Zombies

Fake Information: A screenshot with the logo of news channel CNN reporting that the COVID-19 vaccination is turning people into ‘man eating’ zombies resurfaced on social media. It shows an image of a hospital room with blood spilled all over the floor.

Debunked: India Today busted it as fake news. The picture used in the screenshot is old and is related to the treatment of gunshot victims in North Philadelphia, US. It was published along with a report on February 14, 2019, by The New York Times, following the shooting in North Philadelphia.

3. Coronavirus Can Be Cured by Inhaling Hot Water Steam

Fake Information: WhatsApp forwards suggests that inhaling hot water steam can kill the coronavirus. It adds that Chinese experts guaranteed that the inhalation of steam could kill the virus ‘100 percent.’

Debunked: The Press Information Bureau (PIB) debunked the fake news. They said that there is scientific evidence to prove that inhaling hot water steams kills coronavirus.

4. Nostradamus’ Theory About Coronavirus Prediction

Fake Information: An image has gone viral on social media claiming that Nostradamus predicted the coronavirus in his book Les Prophéties.

Debunked: Hoax buster site, Snopes confirmed that there is no such reference in his book Les Prophéties. The report added that in the whole book, there was not a mention of any prophecy related to the year 2020.

5. COVID-19 Three Stages Treatment Linked to Tata Health

Fake Information: A WhatsApp message regarding ‘COVID-19 three stages’ treatment falsely linked to Tata Health went viral. The message state that if someone contracted COVID-19 through the nose, it can be cured in half a day by inhaling steam and consuming Vitamin C. It added that if someone had the virus in the throat, it could be cured by drinking hot water. In the third stage, if COVID-19 is in the lungs or patients suffer from breathlessness, they should take paracetamols and do a breathing exercise.

Debunked: Tata Health had termed the message as fake.

The above fake claims from 2020 resurfaced online, confusing people and creating more chaos. We advise people not to fall prey of such fake messages and only rely on official websites such as Union Health Ministry and the WHO.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 23, 2021 01:09 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website