A report circulating on some social media platforms, including WhatsApp and Twitter, claims that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has accepted a home remedy as cure for the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to the statement, a student by name RAMU, from Pondicherry University, one of India’s revered universities, found the cure for the virus, and for the first time, it has been accepted by the WHO.
The statement also claims that to cure the virus, all that one needs to do is to mix one tablespoon of black pepper with two tablespoon of honey, and take the concoction for five continuous days.
While it has been shared on a number of WhatsApp platforms in Ghana, the claim has also been shared by @mhassim_ on Twitter, and been retweeted 10 times with comments, and liked by 91 people.
Source: Screenshot from WhatsApp
Fact-checkghana.com has verified the information and can confirm that it is false.
We scanned the World Health Organisation website to verify whether the global body has announced any cure yet for COVID-19. There was no result to that effect.
Additionally, we ran a search on the website of the Pondicherry University http://www.pondiuni.edu.in/ to prove the veracity of the claim, and there was no result.
Fack-checkGhana then called the WHO Technical Officer for Africa, Dr Mary Stephen, on WhatsApp for a conversation on the subject. Apart from refuting the claims, Dr Stephen stated that if there was any cure, the world would have been told already. He admitted that the WHO had cited similar reports since the outbreak of the disease.
“There is a protocol for finding a cure for any pandemic, including COVID-19. You cannot wake up one day in your house and start drafting messages and be sending to people that WHO has found a cure for a disease. Any claim must undergo rigorous clinical trials,” she emphasised.
Dr Stephen also explained that WHO had already started clinical trials into some four therapeutics namely Remdesivir, Lopinarvir/Rotinavir with Interferon beta-1a, Hydroxychloroquine, and Lopinavir/Rotinavir.
However, two of the therapeutics, Hydroxychloroquine and Lopinavir/Rotinavir, have been discontinued from the trials. Only the remaining two treatment options left for the trials.
Therefore, it is total falsehood that WHO has accepted a home remedy as cure for COVID-19.
Supported by STAR Ghana Foundation with funding from UKAID and the European Union