A news report has gone viral on social media platforms since last week claiming that a 45-year-old teacher from Sindhnur taluk of Raichur district in Karnataka had lost his life after self-administering lime juice through his nostrils as a cure to the Covid-19.
Several media outlets had claimed that a 45-year-old teacher Basavaraj had allegedly died after he had tried out the ‘Lemon Therapy’ purportedly suggested by noted industrialist and BJP leader Vijay Sankeshwar.
It is important to note that a few days before the teacher’s death, noted philanthropist Vijay Sankeshwar had addressed a press conference sharing some information regarding certain home remedies that one could follow to stay protected from the Covid-19 pandemic.
What did Vijay Sankeshwar actually say?
Sharing a few preventive therapies suggested by renowned cardiologist Dr BM Hegde and Yusuf Hamied, who is the chairman of pharmaceutical company Cipla, Vijay Sankeshwar had suggested that one could try self-administering lime juice through nostrils, which may help in increasing oxygen levels of Covid-19 affected patients.
In the press conference, Sankeshwar had categorically stated that he was not a medical expert, however, the ‘Lemon Therapy’ he had suggested was based on his own experience and several others, who had successfully regained their Oxygen levels after self-administering the lemon into their nostrils.
In addition to the ‘Lemon Therapy’, Sankeshwar also suggested that the usage of coconut oil and repeated inhalation of steam, along with taking Unani medicine, may help a person to tackle the Chinese pandemic that is raging across the country.
Incidentally, a few days later, several media reports emerged claiming that the 45-year-old teacher Basavaraj had lost his life after self-administering lime juice through his nostrils.
Here are some of the media reports that pushed these claims:
In its report, the International Business Times report claimed that Basavraj, who worked as a teacher in Sindhanur taluk recently tried lime juice inhalation after hearing the recommendation made by Vijay Sankeshwar. The report further said that teacher bought a lemon from a nearby shop and poured the juice into his nasal holes.
Soon, Basavaraj started vomiting and developed shortness of breath, read the report claiming that the self-administering of lemon juice through nostrils had resulted in some complications leading to his death. However, IBT did not provide any medical reports or details to prove their claim that Basavaraj had died due to the ‘Lemon Therapy’.
Not just IBT, several other media groups, including News18, also put out the same misleading claims holding Vijay Sankeshwar responsible for the teacher’s death claiming that he had died after trying out the ‘Lemon Therapy’ suggested by the philanthropist.
Soon, the claim was used by the alleged fact-checkers to spread unverified information on social media platforms. Notorious fake news peddler and an accused in child harassment case – Mohammad Zubair of the Alt News jumped on to the scene to peddle misinformation against Vijay Sankeshwar by claiming that a teacher had died after self-administering lime juice through his nostrils a few days after the BJP leader had suggested the same.
Attaching a few media reports, Zubair claimed that Basavaraj had died after following Sankeshwar’s advice on the ‘Lemon Therapy’. However, he failed to submit any evidence or medical records to substantiate the claim. Further, Zubair also falsely claimed that Sankeshwar had said that administering lime juice would increase oxygen levels by 80 per cent. However, at no point in the press conference, Sankeshwar put such statistics to prove the efficacy of the therapy.
However, in reality, the family of the late teacher has denied the claims, asserting that ‘lemon therapy’ had nothing to do with the 45-year-old teacher’s death.
Did the teacher die due to Sankeshwar’s ‘Lemon Therapy’ advice? Family refutes the lies:
Following the unfortunate death of Basavaraj and the subsequent misinformation peddled by media groups targeting the BJP leader and businessman Vijay Sankeshwar, the family members of the deceased teacher have come out in public to quell the misinformation about his death.
Speaking to Vijayavani, a Kannada daily, the brother of the deceased – Mahantesh has categorically refuted the claims made by media and alleged fact-checkers, stating that his brother Basavaraj had died to low blood pressure that resulted in a heart attack.
Rejecting the news reports, Mahantesh said that the claims regarding his brother’s deaths were untrue as he died due to a heart attack and not because of self-administering lemon juice into nostrils. Expressing his anguish over fake news regarding his brother’s death, he said his family has been in deep pain after media reports peddled misinformation about Basavaraj’s death.
Mahantesh also said that his brother was mentally upset since last few days after the demise of his father due to Covid-19. He added that his brother had died even before he was admitted to the hospital.
Most importantly, the doctor of the hospital also stressed that Basavaraj had died even before reaching the hospital and contended that one could not conclude that Basavaraj died due to ‘Lemon Therapy’ as suggested by Vijay Sankeshwar. “Only a post mortem can find it,” Dr. Suresh said.
[OpIndia does not endorse Vijay Sankeshwar’s ‘Lemon Therapy’. The above report is to put out facts about the incident that has gone viral on the social media platforms since last week]