As the number of coronavirus cases in India keeps rising, following the advice of doctors and advice is the best way to keep ourselves safe. However, in the time of Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, sometimes unverified opinions attributed to doctors are circulated as genuine. 

One such claim making the rounds has been that drinking water every 15 minutes may help prevent people from getting infected.

This claim is misleading and was even fact-checked by India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Wednesday.

In a tweet, the NDMA said, “Claim: A moist throat can ensure protection from corona infection. Fact: False. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim.”

It is not clear where the claim originated but it has been doing the rounds on various social media platforms for quite some time. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) mythbusters, drinking water does not help in the prevention of coronavirus. 

Here is WHO FactCheck:

Q: Does drinking water alleviates a sore throat, does this also protect against 2019-nCoV infection? 

A: While staying hydrated by drinking water is important for overall health, it does not prevent coronavirus infection. 

According to an AFP report, the claim was widely shared in the Philippines, attributing it to a health advisory issued by doctors in Japan. 

The post on Facebook, shared on February 28, read, “SERIOUS EXCELLENT ADVICE by Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases. Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat is moist, never DRY. Take a few sips of water every 15 mins at least. WHY? Even if the virus gets into your mouth…drinking water or other liquids will WASH them down through your oesophagus and into the stomach. Once there in tummy…your stomach ACID will kill all the virus. If you don’t drink enough water more regularly…the virus can enter your windpipes and into the LUNGS. That’s very dangerous.”

The same claim has been now shared across different platforms even in India in different languages and tone. But the gist of the claim is the same that drinking water regularly may help prevent people from getting infected with the coronavirus. 

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