FALSE: 'Required' COVID-19 home medical kit

Claim:

Households should have "required" medical kits with certain items and equipment to treat the different stages of COVID-19. 

According to a portion of some Facebook posts and Whatsapp messages, a COVID-19 medical kit "required at home" must have the following: 

  • Paracetamol
  • Betadine for mouthwash and gargle
  • Vitamin C and D3
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vapor+ capsules for steam
  • Oximeter
  • Oxygen cylinder (for emergency only)
  • Breathing exercises

It also outlines how these medical items or equipment can treat or prevent COVID-19 from progressing at each stage of the disease.

According to Claim Check, Facebook’s fact checking tool, this claim began to circulate as early as July 17. Collectively, these posts have been shared at least 3,600 times.

A reader also emailed a screenshot containing this claim for verification.

Rating: FALSE
The facts:

So far, there are no required or prescribed home medical kits for COVID-19. Experts also do not recommend self-medication at home to prevent or cure COVID-19. The medical equipment listed in the claim should likewise be used with medical supervision.

“While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of mild COVID-19, there are no medicines that have been shown to prevent or cure the disease,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said on its website. “WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19.” 

In addition, there is no scientific evidence, so far, that Betadine, specific vitamins, steam inhalation, or consumption of hot water can cure COVID-19. (READ: How to take care of mild coronavirus symptoms at home)

In case of fever due to mild COVID-19, doctors recommend that patients take paracetamol, but only to manage such symptom. Meanwhile, according to the medical website Healthline.com, vitamins such as Vitamins C, D3, and B complex may only help improve the immune response against the virus.

As for the medical equipment stated in the claim, the WHO explained that pulse oximeters are used by COVID-19 treatment facilities to monitor patients. However, there is no official information or recommendation on their use at home. Thus, it is not recommended to use these and make decisions without the supervision of a medical professional. 

The WHO also does not recommend oxygen cylinders to be used at home or outside medical facilities since “storage or transportation of medical oxygen in cylinders must be done carefully and by trained personnel as the contents are under extreme pressure.”

As the disease spreads in different stages or phases, some scientists said in a review research published in June that experimental drugs and treatments "need to be evaluated based on the specific disease phase they are being prescribed for, along with what is happening in the body as COVID-19 progresses."

The remaining part of the Facebook posts and Whatsapp messages contain a claim about other supposed COVID-19 "cures" that Rappler had already debunked – consuming alkaline food like lemon, garlic, and banana. – Ira Claire Marasigan and Christine Okubo/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.