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Fact Check: can drinking cure or help prevent Corona virus?

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The viral claim is false that drinking tea can cure the coronavirus. There is no evidence to prove that Tea can cure Coronavirus.

A post is getting viral on social media claiming that the Chinese doctor Dr. Li Wenliang was the first to identify the coronavirus treatment. The doctor suggested that the chemical compounds needed to treat Covid-19 are found in Tea. The post also claimed that this news was first published by CNN.

A Facebook user name Lynda Adedeji shared a post claiming that "Breaking News from CNN: Dr. Li Wenliang, China's Hero Doctor who was punished for telling the truth about Corona Virus and later died due to the same disease, had documented casefiles for research purposes and had in the casefiles proposed a cure that would significantly decrease the impact of the COVID - 19 Virus on the human body. The chemical Methylxanthine, Theobromine and Theophylline stimulate compounds that can ward off these virus in a human with atleast an average immune system. Whats more shocking is that these complex words that were so difficult for people in China to understand is actually called Tea in India, YES, our regular Tea has all these chemicals already in it. The main Methylxanthine in tea is the stimulant caffeine. Other Methylxanthines found in tea are two chemically similar compounds, Theobromine and Theophylline. The tea plant creates these chemicals as a way to ward off insects and other animals. Who would have known that all the solution to these virus would be a simple cup of TEA. and that is the reason so many patients in China are being cured. The hospital staff in china has started serving tea to the patients 3 times a day, And the effect is finally in *Wuhan* "The centre of this Pandemic" has been contained and community transmission has almost stopped.Please Share this message to your friends and family to make them aware about this blessing in the form of TEA in your kitchen."

We received many requests to verify the claim. Request 1, Request 2

Fact Check 

We did not find any such report through Google search, which confirms that Chinese doctor Li Wenliang suggested that drinking tea can cure the coronavirus. There is no such report in the media either that doctors are giving tea to Corona patients in China.

We also investigated the CNN website to verify the viral claim, but we did not receive any such claim in the official website nor in their Twitter handle for breaking news.

We found a report from China Daily related to the viral claim. According to this report, researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Zhejiang Province found that drinking tea due to its chemical components can help prevent coronavirus infection. But later this report was removed on 26 January.

According to the article:

"According to the article, researchers from the Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention found through experiments that in cells cultured in vitro, tea, which is rich in polyphenols, works well in killing the virus extracellularly and suppressing its intracellular proliferation. Based on this, the research team suggested that drinking tea could help prevent novel coronavirus infections.

An immunologist told The Paper that the novel coronavirus infects alveolar epithelial cells. But the tea we drink won't reach the lungs anyway. Even if the in vitro experiments prove that tea can inhibit or kill the virus, it doesn't mean that drinking tea can do the same, said the immunologist."

The official Twitter handle of the Press Information Bureau also tweeted that there is no evidence that tea can cure coronavirus. The post reads "No! There is no evidence to prove that Tea can cure Coronavirus Beware of Fake remedies spreading on social media that purports to offer ways of combating the coronavirus. For authentic information on CoronavirusInIndia.

According to WHO

As per the official website of the World Health Organization, there is no vaccine, medication or cure available for Coronavirus. The only way to prevent the coronavirus is to maintain hand hygiene and social distancing which is one of the most important aspects that will help one to be safe from COVID-19.

In conclusion, the viral claim is false that drinking tea can cure the coronavirus. 

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