Experts slam fake 'virus protector cards'

March 12, 2020 - 09:43
Experts have warned that so-called virus protector cards advertised online offer no protection against the SARS-CoV-2.


HÀ NỘI — Experts have warned that so-called virus protector cards advertised online offer no protection against the SARS-CoV-2.

Associate Professor Trần Đắc Phu, former head of General Department of Preventive Medicine under the health ministry, recently came out strongly against the cards and said no experts recommended using them.

“This prevention method is not recommended by the health ministry and the national steering committee on COVID-19 prevention and control. Vietnamese health agencies have not received any official recommendation from infectious disease scientists, experts and international organisations on wearing the protectors to fight COVID-19,” Phu, who is also a consultant of the health ministry’s Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, told Vietnam News Agency.

Online sellers have recently claimed the cards named ‘Virus Shut Out’ are imported from Japan and protect wearers from the coronavirus. 

The cards are advertised as being able to purify the air around the wearers within a radius of between one and two metres and can be used for two months.

The advertisements suggest wearing the cards with a string around the neck, pinning them on personal items or hanging the cards on cars’ mirrors, furniture or doorknobs.

One card can sot from VNĐ150,000 (US$6) to more than VNĐ1 million ($43).

Associate Professor Phu said people should follow instructions of the health ministry about virus prevention and control.

People are advised not to have close contact with those with symptoms of fever and coughing; wash hands with soaps many times a day; avoid using hands to touch eyes, nose and mouth; and not spit in public places.

When coughing or sneezing, people must cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or a sleeve, throw the tissue in the bin after use and wash their hands.

They are also advised to wear face masks in crowded places, on public transport or when coming in contact with people with symptoms; clean their houses regularly, especially surfaces of tables and chairs, handrails of stairs, and doorknobs.


Supplements have also been advertised online to purportedly help users protect themselves against SARS-CoV-2.

According to doctor Lại Thanh Hà, head of Medical Examination Department, Thanh Nhàn Hospital in Hà Nội, there is currently no vaccine or medicine for SARS-CoV-2.

“People should not take supplements which are advertised on social networks as being able to cure SARS-CoV-2,” she said.

The Food Safety Department under the health ministry has issued a warning over supplement advertisements on websites which aim to defraud users or claim that the supplements can cure the virus.

Associate Professor Nguyễn Thanh Phong, head of the department, said supplements that help boost bodily immunity can reduce the risk of contracting diseases, but they are not used as medicine to treat illnesses.

Many people have also rushed to buy vitamin C as it is thought to be the best protector against SARS-CoV-2.

Doctor Hà said using too much vitamin C could lead to kidney stones and cause disorders in the digestive system.

The best way to increase bodily resistance is to eat vegetables and fruits, drink water and maintain a nutritious diet, she said.

Doctors also said food safety and partaking in physical exercise was important. — VNS