Opinion Paper

COVID-19 home remedies and myths becoming a hazardous health infodemic?

Olivia Kunguma
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 13, No 1 | a1115 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v13i1.1115 | © 2021 Olivia Kunguma | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 February 2021 | Published: 30 September 2021

About the author(s)

Olivia Kunguma, Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) brought on several social, economic, political, and environmental challenges. What was mostly questioned was the efficacy of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 (As Amended 16 of 2015) (DMA), which was used to declare COVID-19 a disaster. The concern was whether the DMA is able to deal with pandemics when its focus is mostly on climate-related disasters. Most public health emergencies experience the spread of overwhelming information, some of which may be true and others may be false information. This article discusses the home remedies and myths related to COVID-19, that could impede pandemic response efforts. Subsequently, this study raises a question regarding the effectiveness of DMA to deal with such types of compounding risks. In doing so, this research is exploratory where the DMA and the media articles on COVID-19 home remedies and myths are systematically reviewed. Coronavirus disease 2019 home remedies and myths were found to be hazardous and the DMA was found unprepared to deal with such types of compounding risks. ‘Infodemic management’ needs to be considered in the DMA in order to prepare for effective disaster response.

Keywords

COVID-19; infodemics; public health; home remedies and myths; Disaster Management Act

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