Claim that Steam Inhalation and Hot Beverages Renders One Covid-19 Negative False

A screenshot going viral on social media and other online portals has it that, steam inhalation and hot beverages can make one Covid-19 negative in five days.

The said image attributed to one Dr Tahir Mahmood Chaudhry, Executive Director at Ovex Technologies in Pakistan, was first published by the Philippine Union of Martial Arts Association. It has also been published by Makhona-tsohle Online News Agency, Nairalandforum, and is being circulated on several social media platforms.

Screenshoot message posted on

Original piece being circulated

The text on the image states, “Chinese are not taking any medicine or any vaccine for Coronavirus. Every household has a Coronavirus case. They have stopped going to hospital for cure. They instead kill the virus with heat. Very hot steam inhalation from kettle four times a day. Hot gargles four times a day. Hot tea four times a day. Virus dies in four days. 5th day you are coronavirus negative.”

Some people are subscribing to this and are, therefore, spreading it on social media, which triggered a probe into the claim by Fact Check-ghana which turned out to be false.

Scientists are yet to come out with a vaccine for the novel Coronavirus, even though some medicines have given positive results for their initial tests in the lab.

The characteristics of the virus keeps changing as the initial symptoms associated with it metamorphoses from time to time, with many carriers now being asymptomatic.

Doctors have since been treating the symptoms the pandemic carries as efforts are being adopted by scientists across the globe to discover a lasting vaccine.

According to Doctor Michael Owusu, a virologist at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), Coronavirus has not gotten any cure or vaccine for now.

However, “due to the symptoms associated with it, some treatments are given to their symptoms which aid people to recover.”

“The steam inhalation is something that has been used to cure cold over the years. So if someone has Coronavirus with flu being a symptom, he can adopt the steam inhalation to aid him reduce or cure the ailment [the cold],” he told Fact-checkghana in a telephone interview.

Dr Owusu reemphasized that, “it is erroneous to conclude that steam inhalation and other hot beverages makes one Covid-19 negative since the WHO has not even come out to say that and that is not true.”

He therefore advised those who are experiencing the symptoms and or have tested positive for the Coronavirus to visit the hospital for proper treatment to be administered to them instead of following unsubstantiated procedures. Such measures, he said, could spread the virus to family and friends.

Also, Fact-checkghana’s verification from the Questions and Answers (Q&As) on Covid-19 and related health topics, which according to the WHO are updated regularly based on new scientific findings as the pandemic evolves, does not state anything different from what the KCCR virologist said.

The response to whether there is a vaccine, drug or treatment for Covid-19 from the WHO’s Coronavirus Q&A segment indicates:
“While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of mild COVID-19, there are no medicines that have been shown to prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials of both western and traditional medicines. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19 and will continue to provide updated information as soon research results become available.

“The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to: Clean your hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue. If a tissue is used, discard it immediately and wash your hands and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others.”

From the research carried out by Fact-checkghana, it is clear to state that rendering a Covid-19 patient negative with steam and heat inhalation is false.

Supported by STAR Ghana Foundation with funding from UKAID and the European Union


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