Goin’ bananas over cures? Health exec debunks claim
MANILA, Philippines — Don’t go bananas over this one. Banana is nutritious and you may eat it if you wish. But don’t expect it to prevent you from contracting the novel coronavirus, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Claims being spread on social media tout the power of banana against the virus, but Vergeire said there was no hard evidence or scientific studies to back these up.
“There is no evidence, there is no careful study that has provided hard science or evidence to say that bananas will prevent the transmission or prevent a person from having COVID-19,” she said at the Laging Handa press briefing on Wednesday.
Bananas are good for the body though, she said. One could eat it, but manage expectations, she added.
“We’re not stopping [anyone] from eating it. They should just not think that they would not contract this disease because they are eating bananas,” she said.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, citing something he had read on the internet, is among those who have been getting their fill of the fruit.
“I’ve read a lot on how to destroy or contain, to kill the virus,” he said in Filipino.
He added: “Then I read something on the internet. It turns out that bananas are good in strengthening [oneself].) I eat bananas every day.”
Panelo also said he gargled with salt water and refrained from touching elevator buttons and doorknobs.
Vergeire also mentioned claims that virgin coconut oil (VCO) could help against COVID-19. She said this was discussed about a month ago and relayed to the Office of the President.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles plans to team up local scientists with a university in Singapore to study the effect of VCO on the virus.
The rise in COVID-19 cases in the country has prompted President Duterte to impose an enhanced community quarantine, or a lockdown, as he himself put it, on the entire island of Luzon, with most people constrained to stay home and their movement outside limited.
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