A Facebook page shared the video embedded below of what appears to be a television interview seemingly promoting the drinking of alcohol-based sanitizers to ward off COVID-19, after the re-imposition of an alcohol sale ban in South Africa.
The man in the video says, “Sanitizer (sic) has got 70% alcohol, so if you are drinking alcohol, it is like you are sanitizing your inside.”
Judging by some of the reactions to the video, some people took his comments seriously.
Claims that alcohol can protect one against COVID-19 are not new. There have been reports of deaths caused by the drinking of alcohol-based sanitizers, which is extremely dangerous to one’s health.
South Africa remains the hardest-hit country by the pandemic in Africa, with 563,598 confirmed cases and 10,621 deaths. Among the measures taken to curb the spread of the virus is the ban of alcohol sale (the second moratorium this year), which the government said would take the pressure off the national healthcare system.
A Google reverse image search of the video’s thumbnail shows that the man in the video is South African comedian Thandokwakhe Mseleku. He posted the video of his ‘TV appearance’ on twitter, Instagram and TikTok on July 14.
The video has been edited to replace the convenor of the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa, Lucky Ntimane, who was being interviewed by SABC News on the reinstatement of the alcohol ban, as can be seen in the screenshot below from the original video uploaded on July 13.
While the South African video was for comedic purposes, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns against it saying, ‘the harmful use of alcohol increases your risk of health problems.’
The video shared on Facebook involving a South African comedian was a parody, not meant to be taken seriously. It was in no way promoting the drinking of alcohol-based sanitizers to ward off COVID-19.