There is no evidence and no thorough study that could prove that eating bananas will stop the transmission or prevent a person from having coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Rosette Vergeire said on Wednesday.
While Vergeire downplayed a video claiming that “a banana a day keeps the coronavirus away” circulated on social media.
She, however, said the fruit has many health benefits.
Earlier. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo believed that eating bananas and gargling salt water can help prevent COVID-19 infection and transmission, as he has been doing this as a way to avoid contracting the disease.
Vergeire, meanwhile, stressed there is nothing wrong in eating a banana as it provides the body several nutrients.
Eating bananas is good for the body and the DOH is not preventing people from eating them, she said.
“Only, they should not think that they will not contract the disease if they eat bananas,” said Vergeire.
On the other hand, Panelo revealed that he has been eating bananas everyday as he had read on the internet that it could help fend off the virus.
He also said that he has been gargling salt water to help prevent transmission.
On the use of virgin coconut oil to cure sickness caused by the new coronavirus, Vergeire said that this has been discussed a month ago and had reached the Office of the President.
She said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles provided assistance to local scientists to come out with this and forge a partnership with the University of Singapore to study the effects of virgin coconut oil or VCO on COVID-19.
Dr. Fabian Dayrit, a chemistry professor at Ateneo de Manila University, said VCO, which comes from coconut, has antiviral agents that can help treat COVID-19.
He said there is enough proof that it might work for the new virus.
Vergeire reiterated no medicine has yet been discovered in order for a patient to recover from COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has described it as a global pandemic after it killed nearly 8,000 and infected 197,000 others worldwide.
“So whoever recovered, they were only provided with supportive treatment from the different facilities where they were admitted to address their concerns,” said Vergeire.
She insisted there is no “special formula” for the recovered patients who were later discharged.
“We got the information that those who recovered started off with mild symptoms and they had no underlying conditions,” she added.
WHO said COVID-19 may be fatal for the elderly, the immunocompromised, and those with underlying medical conditions. But 80 percent of cases globally showed a high chance of recovery “without needing special treatment.”
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea./Stacy Ang