Quick Take


A series of facebook posts and a recent claim by an Indian minister says that seating in the sunlight will help your body get free of corona virus and also help you get Vitamin D. We fact check the claim and find it to be false.

The claim

A series of facebook posts in Bengali calls out for people to go to their roof top at 22nd March, 2020 at 1PM and stand in the sun. The claim says coronavirus cannot survive above 26 degrees and at 1PM the temperature outside will be around 36 degrees.

Multiple Bengali posts on Facebook asking people to come out and stand in the sun

In a similar claim, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey says, “People should spend at least 15 minutes in the sun. The sunlight provides Vitamin D, improves immunity and also kills such (#Coronavirus) viruses.”

Fact Check

Does coronavirus die in 26 degree or 36 degree as claimed in the facebook message?

No. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been very clear in its directive that this particular variant of coronavirus
can survive in hot and humid weather.

Though the message does not mention units of temperature, for the sake of simplicity we are considering 26 degrees and 36 degrees in centigrade ( the usual temperature of India around this time)

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

Can sunlight kill viruses?

Researches have shown that sunlight or, more specifically, solar UV radiation (UV) acts as the principal natural virucide in the environment. UV radiation kills viruses by chemically modifying their genetic material, DNA and RNA.

However, the following things need to be kept in mind:

a) Sunlight can kill only certain viruses and bacteria, not all. WHO has confirmed that the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will not die in sunlight.

b) Those virus or bacteria that can be killed by sunlight, can only be killed as long as the UV rays fall on it. This can happen only when the virus is on your skin. Once a virus enters your body, sunlight is ineffective against it.

Can sunlight be the source of vitamin D?

Sunlight can be a great source of Vitamin D. However, excessive exposure to sun can also result in sunburn or skin cancer. Listen to Dr. Manish Singhal, Cancer Specialist, on this issue:

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