#COVID19: UNIMAID Lecturer Never advised Nigerians to Drink Hot Water, Stay Under the Sun

VERDICT: FALSE

On March 26, 2020, fact checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a message shared on WhatsApp and other online platforms claiming that a lecturer at the University of Maiduguri (UNMAID) had urged Nigerians to drink hot water and stay under the sun in order to avoid being infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The widely circulated message credited to Haruna Ngadda, a Professor of Histopathology at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, contains claims on the size of the virus, how long it can survive on surfaces among many others.

THE FACT: A review of the WhatsApp broadcast message shows part of the claim comes from an earlier claim purported to be recommendations from UNICEF.

The message also claims ‘’drinking hot water and sun exposure will do the trick. And staying away from ice cream is important.’’

The purported advisory was also shared widely among WhatsApp users with similar claim, as seen in the screenshot below:

The earlier claims credited to UNICEF was fact checked by the CDD and can be read here CDD Fact Check.

Among the claims is one that, Coronavirus does not survive in hot area, a claim already debunked by the World Health Organization.

The WhO had warned that Coronavirus can survive in all climate. For instance, Singapore and Iran both have warm/hot climates but are parts of the world where the virus is spreading rapidly.

This addition, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in its Frequently Asked Questions said the claim is yet to be proven scientifically.

CDD fact checks revealed that there is no evidence that drinking hot water or staying away from ice cream can ‘do the trick’ {prevent the virus}.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control told CDD Fact Checkers it yet to be proven that drinking hot water or any other liquid can prevent the virus.

CDD Fact checkers spoke with Professor Haruna Nggada who denied ever sending out the advisory. ‘’ please the public should disregard the message as it a scam. Some individuals used my name to propagate the falsehood’’

CONCLUSION

The claim that Professor Haruna Ndagga of the University of Maiduguri sent out health advisory on COVID-19 which claim that ’drinking hot water and sun exposure will kill the virus is False.

CDD advises the public to disregard the message.