June 16, 2020

Fact Check: Tata Health Home kits for Covid -19?

Fake Side:

A WhatsApp forward describing three stages of COVID-19 along with details of a COVID-19 kit for households, has been going viral claiming it to be recommended by Tata Health.

The message contains a link to Tata Health’s website. Adding a URL of genuine website to a text message is often a strategy to lend credibility to the message itself.

Tata Health is a digital health platform with a range of online and offline services that provide medical advice through chat/ video. The organisation is currently providing consultations free of charge.

The Message is also going viral on Facebook.


True Side:

The message details the need of pulse oximeters and sometimes oxygen cylinders as equipment that should be a part of COVID medical kits.

As suggested by a Medical Professional Dr Mullerpattan, from Hinduja Hospital.

“Many of our patients suffering from other pulmonary issues do use pulse oximeters, so having one definitely helps but there should be no need to hoard them. For oxygen cylinders. I believe medical centers are better equipped to help patients,” said Dr. Mullerpattan.

Dr. Mullerpattan also commented about the three stages of COVID-19 mentioned in the message.

The message also mentions a specific number of days it would take to recover from the illness. There is no scientific evidence so far stating that if the virus is present in the nose, the recovery will take half a day.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can only be ascertained as the disease after being tested. Dr. Mullerpattan mentioned that there is no scientific evidence supporting that steam inhalation or drinking hot water prevents COVID-19.

“Preventionary measures are fine but this message recommends self-medicating. None of the medicines or steps should be taken without consulting a doctor.”

According to the World Health Organisation, the only way that the spread of the virus can be prevented is through following social distancing, continuous hand-washing, and wearing masks in the open.

There is no prescribed medical prevention, treatment, or cure for the COVID-19 so far.

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