The French government has been forced to quash a number of bizarre rumours about the novel coronavirus, including that cocaine does not in fact protect against the COVID-19 disease.
France currently has 1,412 cases of coronavirus confirmed, according to John Hopkins University in the US city of Baltimore.
Italy has also felt the brunt on the virus and in a move to curtail the spread has placed the entire country into lockdown. Spain and Germany each have more than 1200 cases.
But it seems the French are approaching the task of how to avoid the virus rather differently, compared to their neighbours.
The French Ministry of Solidarity and Health was forced to put out a statement on Sunday, local time, urging people not to do certain things to avoid becoming ill.
“No, cocaine does not protect against COVID-19,” it tweeted.
“It is an addictive drug causing serious adverse effects and harmful to the health of people.”
The department also warned against people “spraying alcohol or chlorine” on themselves.
“Spraying these substances may be harmful to the mucous membranes and clothing,” it said.
It added in another tweet that hand sanitisers “do not cause cancer” – a rumour which had been circulating online.
“No carcinogenic, reprotoxic or neurotoxic risk has been identified,” it tweeted.
On social media, people found the announcements, particularly surrounding cocaine, rather amusing.
“It would be expensive treatment,” one man joked, referring to using cocaine.
Another man simply tweeted; “people are so stupid”.
Mongolia’s first case of coronavirus, confirmed on Tuesday, is a French national.
The National Emergency Commission said in a statement the individual travelled to Mongolia from France and transited through Moscow.
The government has identified 42 people the patient has met with and another 120 individuals who had close contact with the person.
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