Is gargling salt with lukewarm water a preventive measure against the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19?
Local and international health experts say there is no evidence to back up this claim.
During a press conference in January 2020, Department of Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo says there is no proof that gargling salt water can "kill a virus."
But Domingo acknowledges that it has been a go-to home remedy for sore throat, which is one of the common symptoms seen on COVID-19 patients.
He adds, "I don't think there’s going to be any harm in doing it. Saline gargle has always been advocated to improve mostly symptoms of sore throat."
Dr. Seema Yasmin of Standford University also debunks this myth, stating it won't kill the virus, but it won't cause any harm either.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says rinsing the nose with saline can't protect a person from COVID-19, but it recognizes that there is "some limited evidence" that it can "help people recover more quickly from the common cold."
Nasal congestion and runny nose are two common symptoms seen among COVID-19 patients.
WHO also dimisses the claim: "Some brands of mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes... However, this does not mean they protect you from 2019 n-CoV infection."
According to WHO, frequent hand washing, practice of social distancing, proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, and less touching of eyes, mouth, and nose are still the best ways to protect oneself from COVID-19.