A viral WhatsApp message in Bengali is in circulation that puts across a 22 point advisory about ‘what to do over next several months to prevent yourself from Coronavirus’. The message claims that the advisory is from Dr. Devi Shetty. The message has further been shared on multiple Facebook groups and also reported by Bengali news platforms. Our investigation says, the message is mostly false.
One of our reader has forwarded us the viral WhatsApp message on out Fact Check helpline number. The message has a 22 point advisory in Bengali on how to stay safe from Coronavirus. The message also claims that it is from Dr. Devi Shetty. A snapshot of the message is given below:
Who is Dr. Devi Shetty?
Dr. Devi Shetty is a popular medical surgeon in India and also the founder of a chain of multi-specialty hospital chain called Narayana Healthcare.
Is the advisory from Dr. Devi Shetty?
No. The advisory is not from Dr. Devi Shetty. Dr. Shetty has spoken to The Quint regarding this particular message and has clarified that he has not issued any such advisory. (Source here)
However, in a Guest Author post in Times of India, where Dr. Shetty talked about preventive measures against Covid-19, he did mention a few points that are similar to what has been propagated in the viral message. The article can be read here. A snapshot of the similar points is given below:
Do the 22 pointers have merit otherwise?
We studied all the 22 points in details. We even consulted our medical review team on the 22 point advisory. Most of the points on the advisory are about social distancing (example: do not go to public places, avoid social gathering, avoid movie halls etc.) and hygiene (example: keep your shoes outside, clean your hands). Some advice like ‘Do not eat out for 1 year’ can be termed a bit extreme given that WHO and CDC has both termed that food is not found to be a carrier of the Coronavirus. However, given that eating out can mean walking into crowded restaurants or home delivered food can multiple touch points and is put in plastic or cardboard packaging, it is important to maintain caution.
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