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Pinoys, victimized by fake news! Eating bananas will not save you from the coronavirus

Bananas strengthen the immune system, but so can other fruits.

A video that is still making rounds on social media had people hoarding bananas. The video says that “a banana a day keeps [the] coronavirus away”.

The video is also saying that the University of Queensland in Australia researchers have proven that bananas can strengthen the immune system which in turn provides protection against Covid-19.

Social media and reports worldwide suggest that people emptied out all the stores selling bananas.

Cabinet officials have suggested a total lockdown on Metro Manilla, as per Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo. This will be discussed during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force.

Panelo said that people are putting themselves at risk every single time they are out in the open. He also said some things that not a lot of people agree with.

Panelo started off saying that the Philippines will be doing what South Korea is doing, and that is a total lockdown of their country.

“What Secretary Año and other members of the Cabinet are considering is what [South] Korea carried out. They did a total lockdown. That is what we’ll present to the president,”

Interestingly, Korea has not performed such a measure. What South Korea is doing is they are improving their approach and interventions toward the problems concerning the virus.

Italy is the country that actually implemented a complete lockdown, where nearly 1,500 have died from the virus. Denmark, France, and Spain have also started their total lockdown as the number of cases in those respective countries has increased.

Panelo also revealed that he is also one of those that believe in the benefits of bananas as it relates to the virus.

“I read a few things about how to destroy or contain the virus. You know, even without me knowing it, I’ve been fond of bananas.”

“I saw on the internet, that bananas are a good way to fight [viruses]. So here I am, eating bananas every day,” he added.

Panelo then said that gargling salt water or Listerine will provide protection from the virus.

“It has been my habit to gargle saltwater. Whenever I feel a bit of cold, I do it. [Health Secretary Francisco] Duque said that’s okay. Even gargling with Listerine,”

“Coronavirus before it reaches the lungs it remains in the throat for four days and at this time the person begins to cough and have throat pains.”

He even advised people to practice this and to spread the word.

“If he drinks water a lot and gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar eliminates the virus. Spread this information because you can save someone with this information.”

Back in January, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo that gargling will do anyone no good in terms of getting rid of a virus, but is not completely against it since this has been used for generations already.

“I don’t think there is any evidence that it will kill a virus. I think this is a home remedy that has been followed for many, many generations and I don’t think there’s going to be any harm in doing it.”

“Saline gargle has always been advocated to improve mostly symptoms of sore throat,” he added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that “To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV),”  even though thousands have already reportedly recovered.

The WHO also added that rinsing the nose will do very little and that there are no guarantees.

“There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.”

No more bananas even in wet markets

Panelo did say that people should wash their hands, which is the most recommended thing to do during a time like this.

“But constantly we have to wash our hands. It’s necessary that we take steps to protect ourselves. We just have to be careful.”

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirms this saying that this is the “most effective way to prevent the spread of germs.”

Akbayan Youth chairman Dr. Raymond John Naguit added that eating bananas for Covid-19 protection is totally false.

“Hindi po proven na makakatulong ang saging para labanan ang Covid-19″

It is true that bananas can strengthen the immune system, but so can other fruits.

“Of course yung mga prutas na mayaman sa vitamins can be of big help na palakasin ang  immune system,”

He doesn’t recommend eating a lot of bananas because it can do damage to those suffering from diabetes, given its sugar content.

“Pero hindi siya pwedeng i-generalize, kasi alam natin na maraming sugar ang saging na pwedeng maka-apekto sa may diabetes, so hindi ko siya gagawin as general recommendation para sa lahat”

It is ironic because in 2018, back when Panelo was still the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, he said that those who spread fake news will be prohibited from entering the Malacañang.

Pia Ranada from Rappler was denied the opportunity of covering Malacañang because Duterte’s administration deemed her as someone from the opposition.

Panelo then told ANC’s Early Edition that “They will be taught a lesson. We cannot be creating a kind of demeanor on the part of the media.”

Panelo said, “In the first place, she’s in Malacañang, how can you ban her?” when asked about Mocha Uson, who is known for spreading fake news.

Panelo denied the fact then Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson was constantly giving out false information.

“Sec. Mocha was not spreading false information. She admits when she commits mistake. She corrects it.”

Karen Davila retweeted a clip of Panelo saying those crazy claims, and advised people to only listen to health experts.

Netizens also reacted.

Written by Charles Teves

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