Fact check: Is Big B’s claim that coronavirus spreads through flies correct?

Vikash Aiyappa

New Delhi, Mar 26: Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachan has warned that the novel coronavirus can spread quickly as the virus remains active for weeks in human excreta.

Bachan referred to a Lancet research while making his point. He further urged everyone to use toilets everyday and lock the door properly in order to stop the entry of the house flies.

Bachan shared on his Twitter handle a 2 minute plus video and even tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He goes on to say that flies that may have come in contact with the infected faeces can sit on food particles and spread the virus further.

Bachan in his tweet said, a study in the @TheLancet shows that coronavirus lingers on human excreta much longer than in respiratory samples. Come on India, we are going to fight this! Use your toilet: हर कोई, हर रोज़, हमेशा । Darwaza Band toh Beemari Band!"

The study by the journal has found that the virus stays alive for longer in the stool samples when compared to the respiratory samples of the infected persons. Further the study also found that the virus may remain active in the stool samples even after the person has recovered from coronavirus. The study also underlines the importance of sanitation and social distancing.

The video is a significant one in the wake of several people not using the toilets despite the government constructing several of them under the Swachh Bharat mission. Bachan also spreads the message regarding the Swachh Bharat mission in the video.

Minutes after this video was posted, a message did the rounds on the social media. The message reads, "new study by China proves that house flies (makhi) can transmit Corona Virus. This information has been recently confirmed by Government of India. Amitabh Bachchan appointed to spread this important message."

Earlier in the day when the joint secretary of the Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal was questioned about this claim made by Bachan, he said it was an infectious disease. I have not seen the tweet, but technically I can say that this is an infectious disease and does not spread through flies.

The health ministry had also made it clear that the infection also does not spread through mosquitoes.

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