New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Minister Arjun Meghwal has launched a certain brand of papad with claims that it could help one in fighting coronavirus infection. In a video that has garnered attention for all the wrong reasons, the minister can be seen promoting Bhabhiji papads and talking about its ingredients that could help create antibodies to combat the spread of the virus.

"Under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative, a papad manufacturer has come up with this product that will aid the formation of antibodies to fight the coronavirus,” while adding that “This papad will prove useful in the fight against coronavirus”, he says in the video. The company that has produced the crisps is based in Bikaner and claims that the product has gilloy and other immunity-boosting ingredients.

(Twitter account of @ivishalthakur)

At a time when the government is going the extra mile to curb the spread of misinformation, such misleading videos only add to the confusion. The minister has been at the receiving end of social media for making unscientific and unsubstantiated claims. Here are some of the reactions. (add at least 4 tweets (tongue in-cheek types)

(Twitter account of @Veniceofeast)

‘Hats off to his determination’

(Tiwtter account of @Elizatweetz)

Misinformation on COVID-19 from politicians in power not new

However, it's not in India that misinformation is peddled by people who represent the government. US president Donald Trump had endorsed a brand of Garbanzo beans and spices that according to him, can ‘evade the virus’ completely. Earlier in March, a local politician in Iran's Mashhad city had attributed alcohol as a potential COVID cure. Since liquor is banned in Iran, thousands instead consumed industrial alcohol that reportedly resulted in the deaths of over 300 people, and hospitalisation of thousands. Back home in India, ‘Go Corona Go’ became a famous jingle of a hopeful COVID eviction, thanks to Republican Party of India's national president Ramdas Athawale.

And now, the ‘Bhabiji Papad’ has been added to the bizarre list of COVID-19 cures put in place by the barrage of misinformation stoked out of a big dam of politicians globally.

Over 15 million people so far have been infected by COVID-19 with over 633,000 deaths globally, according to Johns Hopkins University's COVID-tracker.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma