Coronavirus graphics you may have been sent on WhatsApp are not actually from Unicef

11th Mar 2020


The new coronavirus is 400-500 micro and for this reason wide enough to be stopped by masks.


The virus is 50-200 nanometres wide, and a mask, although sometimes necessary, won’t guarantee that you don’t get Covid-19.

Claim 1 of 7

We’ve seen a number of tweets showing graphics which make claims about the new coronavirus. The graphics have Unicef branding and are reportedly spreading on WhatsApp.

Unicef in the Philippines has said that the graphics are not from them. Most of the claims here are unevidenced or just plain false.
The claims seem to have been lifted from a Facebook post which we have checked before. The original text of the post, which has been edited since we first fact checked it, makes some of the same claims about the symptoms of Covid-19 and ways to prevent the disease.
It seems that at one point, MSN had an article on its website repeating the claims and attributing them to Unicef though the article has now been deleted.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls the disease itself Covid-19, and the virus that causes it SARS-CoV-2, and we will use that naming system here.

“Corona virus (Covid-19) is large in size where the cell diameter is 400-500 micro and for this reason any mask prevents its entry.”

The SARS-CoV-2 virus itself is around 50-200 nanometres wide. “Any mask” will not prevent you catching it. The WHO says masks are only effective when combined with regular hand washing. Viruses like this can enter through the eyes even if you’re wearing a mask.

“The virus does not settle in the air but is grounded so it is not transmitted by air.”

It’s not completely obvious what this means. The virus that causes Covid-19 certainly can spread through cough and sneeze droplets in the air, which can in turn enter someone else’s system.

“Corona virus lives on the hands for 10 minutes, so putting an alcohol sterililzer in the pocket meets the purpose of prevention.”

As we’ve said before, it’s not clear exactly how long the virus can ‘survive’ on your hands, especially not down to the minute. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser is a good way to prevent the virus from spreading, if washing your hands with soap and water isn’t possible.

“Corona virus when it falls on a metal surface, it will live 12 hours, so washing hands with soap and water well enough.”

We don’t know exactly how long the virus can last on surfaces yet. The WHO says “Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.
It’s still good advice to wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

“Gargle with warm and salt water kills the tonsils germs and prevents them from leaking into the lungs.”

As we’ve written about before, gargling with salt water is recommended by the NHS for adults who have a sore throat, but only to relieve symptoms once you have caught it, not as a preventative measure. The WHO has said that there’s no evidence saline can prevent Covid-19.
Other fact checkers have also written about this claim, which was attributed to respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan, a key figure during the SARS outbreak. The hospital where he worked debunked the rumour via a post on social media site Weibo.

“If the virus is exposed to a temperature of 26-27ºC. It will be killed, as it does not live in hot regions. Also drinking hot water and sun exposure will do the trick and staying away from ice cream and cold food is advised.”

We don’t yet know what temperatures the virus can withstand, but it’s worth noting that several of the countries with confirmed cases have warmer climates where the temperature can reach 27ºC. Sun exposure is therefore unlikely to protect you from or cure Covid-19. There’s no official advice from the NHS, WHO or CDC to stay away from cold food like ice cream or drink hot water to kill the virus.

“Coronavirus when it falls on the fabric remains 9 hours, so washing clothes or being exposed to the sun for two hours meets the purpose of killing it.”

We don’t know how long the new virus can last on fabric, especially this soon after it was discovered. In a blogpost, Harvard Medical School’s instructor in medicine Todd Ellerin writes: “So far, available evidence suggests it can be transmitted less easily from soft surfaces than frequently-touched hard surfaces.”
The CDC advises that soiled clothing from Covid-19 patients should be handled with disposable gloves, but can be washed using normal detergent. There’s absolutely no evidence that leaving clothes in the sun can kill the virus.

By Grace Rahman

Hi there Friends –

Herewith a 2020 Science Bulletin put out by Unicef on viruses like Corona –

1. The Corona virus is quite big in its size and cell proportions, measuring at between 400-500 micros for cell diameter, so any surgical mask will prevent it entering the body;

2. Not an airborne virus, as it tends to prefer liquids, so it is not transmitted by air;

3. If it falls onto a metal surface it will live there for up to 12 hours, so regular washing of kitchen and other surfaces will kill its outer protein casing;

4. If it falls onto a fabric surface, it will last up to 9 hours, so as it does not like hot temperatures, washing or exposure to the sun for 2 hours does the trick;

5. If it falls onto the hands it can live there for 10 minutes, so hand-gelling with an alcohol sterliser is important as a preventative measure against any super-spreading;

6. If exposed to temperatures of from 26 to 27 degrees Centigrade, this kills it, by rupturing the protein outer casing of the virus;

7. A regular nightly gargle with warm water or salt water kills the germs on the tonsils and this will prevent the virus getting into the metabolism;

Adherence to these preventative measures will deal with many viruses.


Ideally I wish NOT to celebrate any weddings during the current crisis.

But in those cases where I deem it necessary to celebrate a wedding I am employing the following conditions:

1. I will wear the mask above.

2. I will impose social distancing – everyone except bride and groom be 6 feet apart.

3. A limit of 6 people at a wedding ceremony – including the bride and groom. This is to allow the couple and their parents to be present.

4. Before and after ceremony those present will sanitise their hand with 80% alcohol hand sanitiser.

5. Wedding ceremony will be very short – no Mass or Holy Communion.

This may of course change, if the government registrar’s office closes, leading to no Marriage Schedule (licence) being issued.


I am hoping that today at 12 noon I will make a first attempt to broadcast my daily Mass from The Oratory.

It will be a simple mass without music and a short reflection instead of a formal homily.

Todays Mass may not be perfectly technically – but will be a beginning that we will perfect as we go along.

The plan is to have Mass on Sundays at 12 noon and weekdays at 6.15 pm.

We will keep the times under review.

The link is