The World Health Organization declared Coronavirus a pandemic and health emergency on 11th March 2020. Social media is flooded with misinformation about Coronavirus and its cure. This virus has claimed 7426 lives until now globally according to the situation report published by WHO on 17th March 2020.
Recently we came across a video, which claimed that Australian researchers have found that bananas can help prevent an infection of COVID-19. This video looks like a genuine news report where in the beginning we can see the logo of an Australia’s public broadcaster ABC News.
The news anchor is heard saying, “Scientists from the University of Queensland are confident they’ll be able to develop a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus.”
After the introduction by the anchor we can see visuals and text claiming that “Research conducted by scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia proves that bananas, improve your inmune [sic] system due to the super source of Vitamins B-6 and helps prevent coronavirus. Having a banana a day keeps the coronavirus AWAY.”
The caption of the post reads, “Research made by Scientist from the University Of Queensland in Australia have proven that banana, improve your immune system due to the super source of VITAMIN B-6 and helps prevent CORONAVIRUS.”
This video is doing rounds on Facebook with a similar claim.
We started our investigation by using a simple keyword search on Google and reverse image search on key frames provided by the InVid Tool. The results lead us to a YouTube video uploaded on 23rd January 2020 with the headline which reads, “Race is on as Australian researchers rush to make coronavirus vaccine | ABC News.”
The description of the video mentioned that Scientists from the University of Queensland are confident they will be able to develop a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus. The university has been asked by the coalition for epidemic preparedness innovations (CEPI) to develop a vaccine using UQ’s recently developed rapid response technology.”
We found that the first few seconds of the viral misleading video was similar to the first few seconds of the ABC News video. The entire video of 3 Minutes 39 seconds did not mention anything about bananas being useful to prevent COVID-19 infection.
We also found another video on YouTube uploaded by the Wall Street Journal on 13th February 2020 whose headline reads, “How Scientists Are Trying to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine.” We found that the other half of the footage in the misleading video were originally used from this video.
We also searched for medicines and remedies for Coronavirus on the WHO’s website. We found that the WHO clearly states that as on date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials.
We also searched for researches done by University of Queensland on bananas as a possible remedy to prevent COVID-19 infections but we were unable to find any credible reports on the same. Bananas are indeed a good source of vitamin B-6, but there is no proof that they can boost one’s immune system and prevent the disease caused by coronavirus.
Below we have stated few precautionary steps that is recommended by WHO which are the most effective protective measures against COVID-19.
Conclusion- Fact Crescendo found the above-mentioned post to be False. There is no proof that banana can boost one’s immune system and prevent the disease caused by Coronavirus. The viral video in the form of a news report on social media has been doctored.
Update– Fact Crescendo contacted the University of Queensland, who confirmed us via email that ” The video is fake and we would strongly discourage people from sharing this information.”
Title:Bananas cannot help you to prevent a COVID-19 infection!Fact Check By: Aavya Ray