FALSE: Alcoholic drinks 'reduce coronavirus risk'

Claim: Research by the Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City found that consuming alcoholic beverages may reduce the risk of infection by coronavirus. Vodka was the most recommended drink.

A photo of a letter dated March 7 with the logo and name of the hospital made the rounds on Facebook.

The letter read: "After extensive research, our findings show that consuming alcoholic beverages may help reduce the risk of infection by the novel coronavirus; COVID-19. Vodka is the most recommended for drinking cleaning, and sanitizing."

The claim was sent by a reader to Rappler for verification. Posts containing the claim were also flagged by Facebook Claim Check, a tool that monitors viral posts with potentially false information.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The hospital dismissed the claim as false. Further, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend alcohol consumption to prevent the coronavirus.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, March 12, Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City said: "False reports are circulating that say drinking alcohol can reduce the risk of COVID-19. THIS IS NOT TRUE."

Instead, the hospital advises protective measures such as washing hands frequently, maintaining social distancing, avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth, and practicing respiratory hygiene.

In the Philippines, a lockdown of Metro Manila will be implemented after the confirmed coronavirus cases in the country rose to 64 as of Friday evening, March 13. (READ: Self-quarantine guide amid coronavirus pandemic: When to do it, what to stock up on) – Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com

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