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Fact Check: Can UV Rays Kill The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Fact Check on whether UV rays can kill coronavirus. A rumour has been widespread on social media that UV rays can effectively kills COVID-19. Read for details.

fact check

Claim: UV rays kill coronavirus

Rating: False

What is the rumour about?

The new rumour that is circulating all over social media states that the UV rays can kill coronavirus. So, instead of sitting at home, one should sit under the sun and absorb the sunlight as much as possible. 

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Who started the rumour?

  • Social media users
  • There were also reports of a Thai article published on March 2, 2020,  that has been circulating all over social media. It states that there are 7 things that the COVID-19 virus is afraid of. The article was shared aa lot of times after it was published on a health group on Facebook. 
  • Since the UV-C machines are used to kill the Coronavirus and other viruses in enclosed areas like aeroplanes, hospitals, AC trains, etc, people started believing that the UV rays could be used for human purposes as well. 
  • Here are some Facebook posts that have shared this unverified rumour. 
fact check, do UV rays kill coronavirus, Can UV rays pass windows,

Image courtesy: Facebook

fact check, do UV rays kill coronavirus, Can UV rays pass windows,

Image courtesy: Facebook

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Google Trends 

After an analysis of the Google Trends with respect to the UV killing coronavirus topic, one can see that the people have been hugely interested to know whether UV rays can kill Coronavirus, for the past 7 days. The maximum number of searches have been done on March 28, April 1 and April 2, 2020. 

fact check, do UV rays kill coronavirus, Can UV rays pass windows, UV rays coronavirus

Image courtesy: Google Trends 

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Interest in people according to region

fact check, do UV rays kill coronavirus, Can UV rays pass windows, UV rays coronavirus

Image courtesy: Google Trends 

Republic World did a fact check on the "UV rays killing coronavirus" rumour

  • Republic World did a fact check on the "UV rays killing coronavirus" rumour and found it to be False.
  • Neither WHO nor U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list UV rays or sunlight as a preventive measure for COVID-19. 
  • Neither the absorbing UV rays by sitting under the sun, nor using UV lamps have been found to be effective in protecting one from COVID-19.
  • The UV-C machines that are being used to disinfect hospitals and aeroplanes are said to be extremely hazardous to humans. It is said that exposing oneself to the UV-C radiations directly could even harm one's skin, so no humans are present while the disinfection takes place in hospitals and aeroplanes. 
  • Since 1878, UV-C has been used to kill microbes as a staple method of sterilisation. Yet some studies are yet to be carried out to find the effect of UV-C on humans and what role it plays in keeping the virus away. 

Could UV-C help in killing the novel Coronavirus?

  • The UV-C type of UV rays is currently gaining a lot of attention as according to reports, UV-C was seen to be effective when used against a type of coronavirus like SARS virus. 
  • But no studies have been published yet that state the use of the UV-C rays effectively against the novel Coronavirus. 
  • For now, the scientists are advocating to avoid using concentrated UV lamps as it may cause damage to the skin
  • Check these myth-buster pictorials that the WHO has shared regarding UV rays and the use of UV lamps. Even taking hot water baths, or staying in hot temperatures is not a constraint to catch a COVID-19 infection. 
fact check, do UV rays kill coronavirus, Can UV rays pass windows, UV rays coronavirus
fact check, do UV rays kill coronavirus, Can UV rays pass windows, UV rays coronavirus
 do UV rays kill coronavirus, Can UV rays pass windows,

Image courtesy: WHO

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Is there any rumour you want Republic World to do a fact check on? Do you have facts about a rumour? Share your pictures or videos with Republic World on contact@republicworld.com or comment on this story itself. 

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