A woman sells black tea and dry chillies at a local market in Tha Ley village on the Inle Lake in Myanmar's Shan state, on December 30, 2010. The 13,5 miles long and 7 miles wide Inle Lake is one of the top touristic destinations in the country that was formerly called Burma. It's dotted with stilt-house villages and floating gardens of the Intha tribes and boats are the main transportation modes around the lake. AFP PHOTO / VOISHMEL (Photo by VOISHMEL / AFP)

Korean social media posts share false claim that drinking pepper stem tea can prevent or cure Covid-19

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Multiple posts shared repeatedly on Facebook claim that drinking tea made with pepper stems is effective in preventing or curing Covid-19. The claim is false; the Association of Korean Medicine said there is no scientific evidence to support the claim. As of December 31, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said there is no known medically proven cure for Covid-19. In December 2020, some countries began vaccination campaigns against the disease.

The claim was shared here on Facebook on December 26, 2020.

Screenshot of the misleading post. Captured on December 28, 2020.

Part of the Korean-lanauge text in the post translates to English as: "Effective medicine to cure Coronavirus. Full recovery guaranteed within two or three days.

"You can easily prevent Covid-19, and you can 100% cure coronavirus with this method.

"How to make pepper stem tea. 1. Prepare 100g of pepper stems, three jujubes and seven coarse salts. (Wash pepper stems clearly with water). Pour 2 litres of water and start boiling it down. 

"No side effects...For More details contact Korean Medicine Doctor Kang Sung-chun."

A similar claim was shared on Facebook here, here, here, here and here.

The claim, however, is false. 

Kim Gye-jin, a director at the Association of Korean Medicine, a representative group for Korean Medicine Doctors in the country, told AFP there is no scientific evidence to support the claim.

“There are no significant records to show that pepper stems were used to prevent or cure the common cold or flu, and certainly, there are no medical grounds to show that pepper stems are effective in preventing or curing Covid-19,” he said in a phone interview on December 28, 2020.

As of December 30, 2020, the WHO states on its website: “There is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease, while some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of Covid-19.”

In December 2020, many countries began vaccination campaigns against the virus, as AFP reported here.

A total of 16 vaccines are in the final stage of development, including those already on the market, the WHO says.

Britain became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19 on December 2, 2020. As of December 27, 2020, a total of 16 countries and the European Union had given the green light to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

AFP Fact Check debunked a similar misleading claim that drinking tea can cure or relieve symptoms of Covid-19 after it circulated online in Sri Lanka.