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Can sunbathing, gargling, eating garlic or drinking alcohol prevent coronavirus infections?

There are many myths and misconceptions about COVID-19 cures in the community Source: getty images

Myths and false coronavirus remedies have spread across the globe and pose a real risk to public and individual health and safety. To reduce the spread of misinformation, we’re busting the top medical myths.

Myths and misconceptions about COVID-19 and it's "cure" that seem to be most prevalent include:

  • UV rays of the sun will kill the exposed coronavirus, so sunbathing will keep me safe from the virus;
  • Eating garlic, taking Vitamin D supplements, or taking herbal and home remedy medications will prevent coronavirus infection;
  • Drinking hot water, alcohol or lemon water will clear my throat of the virus;
  • Drinking water frequently will flush the virus into my stomach, where stomach acids will kill it off, instead of it passing into my windpipe;
  • Drinking strong alcoholic spirits like whiskey will sterilise my throat and kill the virus;
  • The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine cures COVID-19, and 
  • 5G mobile networks weaken the immune system and therefore are a reason behind the COVID pandemic.

But is there any evidence or scientific proof to support these "theories"?

SBS asked ANU Associate Professor of Medicine and Infectious Disease Sanjaya Senanayake to explain what the science says in response to these top myths about Coronavirus that are circulating in the community.

In this audio feature, hear the myths and questions in the female voice, and the responses from Dr Senanayake in the male voice, which have all been translated into Punjabi.

Click on the audio player above to hear the responses.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at

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