A message widely circulating on WhatsApp claims that Indian Air force Air Marshal Ashutosh Sharma, based at Bengaluru’s Command Hospital, recommended steam inhalation to kill coronavirus and end the pandemic soon. The complete message is included at the end of this article.

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Fact-check

On April 26, the Indian Air Force (IAF) issued a press note debunking the claim. The press note stated, “It is hereby clarified that there is no Air Marshal Ashutosh Sharma at Bangalore. Command Hospital Air Force Bangalore is headed by Air Vice Marshal Ashutosh Sharma and the message in question has not been originated by him.”

The presser added, “Indian Air Force and Air Vice Marshal Ashutosh Sharma do not vouch for anything that is stated in the message. Any person with any symptoms of COVID-19 must seek professional medical help for treatment.” The Ministry of Defence also published this via Press Information Bureau.

Last year in June, Alt News Science debunked several claims made by New Delhi-based Dr Parameshwar Arora MD (Ayurveda), a senior consultant at Sir Gangaram hospital, including treating the upper respiratory tract with home remedies like steam.

Alt News Science founding editor Dr Sumaiya Shaikh and contributor Dr Sharfaroz Satani wrote, “The novel coronavirus (SARS-COV2) is transmitted predominantly by respiratory droplets, contact, and potentially by the faecal-oral route. After the virus enters the nasal cavity and pharynx (upper respiratory tract), it attaches to the outermost layer of the cells lining the respiratory tract called the ‘epithelial cells’ (see figure).

The SARS-COV2 attaches to these cells via a protein called ‘Spike protein’ that attaches to a receptor molecule called ACE2 located on the epithelial cell surface. Once the virus enters these cells, it multiplies by invading further down the respiratory tract, lungs, digestive tract lining, blood, and from there on to the other vital organs of the body.

Thus, throughout this process, the virus is multiplying inside a number of cells in many important organs of the body and the blood. Therefore, drinking hot water, washing it down, gargling or steaming with any other substances will not destroy the virus since it is not limited to the respiratory tract.

Such home remedies may provide temporary symptomatic relief from a sore throat, but it doesn’t affect the virus or treat the infection. It is a complementary measure for common cold, akin to cold water sponges for fevers.”

Neither can steam inhalation cure COVID-19 nor ‘Indian Air force Air Marshal’ Ashutosh Sharma at Bengaluru’s Command Hospital recommend the home remedy to defeat coronavirus.

Read the full viral text below:

Message from Air Marshal Ashutosh Sharma, Chest physician & pulmonologist COMMAND HOSPITAL AIR FORCE, BANGLORE

Please send this message to all your colleagues daily.

Important Message for all

The hot water you drink is good for your throat.

But this Coronavirus is hidden behind the Paranasal sinus of your nose for 3 to 4 days.

The hot water we drink does not reach there.

After 4 to 5 days this virus that was hidden behind the paranasal sinus reaches your lungs.

Then you have trouble breathing.

That’s why it is very important to take steam, which reaches the
back of your Paranasal sinus.

You have to kill this virus in the nose with steam.

At 50°C, this virus becomes disabled i.e. paralyzed.

At 60°C this virus becomes so weak that any human immunity system can fight against it.

At 70°C this virus dies completely.

This is what steam does.

The entire Public Health Department knows this.

But everyone wants to take advantage of this Pandemic.

So they don’t share this information openly.

One who stays at home should take steam once a day.

If you go to the market to buy Groceries vegetables etc. Take it twice a day.

Anyone who meets some people or goes to the office should take steam 3 times a day.

Steam week

According to doctors, Covid -19 can be killed by inhaling steam from the nose and mouth, eliminating the Coronavirus.

If all the people started a steam drive campaign for a week, the pandemic will soon end.

So here is a suggestion:

Start the process for a week from morning and evening, for just 5 minutes each time, to inhale steam.
If we all adopt this practice for a week the deadly Covid-19 will be erased. This practice has no side effects & doesn’t cost anything either. So please send this message to all your Loved Ones, relatives, friends and neighbours, so that we all can kill this Coronavirus together and live and walk freely in this beautiful world.

Thank you, Jai hind

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel at WION as a trainee journalist, at S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer and at The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.