People baffled after French government warn cocaine doesn’t prevent coronavirus

As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to rise around the world, many have been taking drastic measures to prevent infection.

We've seen commuters in London putting boxes and carrier bags over their heads and people in Singapore covering their fingers with condoms to press elevator buttons.

And while we don't recommend you do either of those things, there's one thing you definitely should not do.

A fake tweet has been circulating on social media, claiming that taking cocaine will help protect people against getting ill.

Thousands have shared the worrying information, so the French government are now attempting to dispel the myth.

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The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in France shared a post on Twitter stating that cocaine use won't prevent coronavirus.

They said: "No, Cocaine does NOT protect against Covid-19.

"It is an addictive drug causing serious adverse effects and harmful to the health of people."

More than 5,800 liked the tweet with over 3,900 retweeting it.

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Understandably there were those who hadn't seen the fake post and thus were left baffled by the warning.

One person wrote: "While Italy locks down the whole country, France is having to put out official tweets explaining that No, cocaine does NOT protect against Covid-19."

Another said: "France is grappling with over a 1000 coronavirus cases and they had to do a PSA telling people that cocaine doesn’t cure coronavirus can you imagine the stress."

A third added: "No, cocaine doesn't protect against the coronavirus. WHO NEEDED TO BE TOLD THIS? WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT IS GOING ON IN FRANCE?"

The UK now has 373 confirmed coronavirus  cases – after 54 more people were diagnosed in the last 24 hours.

The latest infections include a man in his 80s who died in Watford, a Liverpool hospital surgeon, a University of Oxford student, a secondary school teacher in Cumbria and a Halifax bank call centre worker in Belfast.

England has the most infections with 324, including 91 in London, followed by Scotland (27), Northern Ireland (16) and Wales (six).

The increase came as England's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, warned that "many thousands" could become infected, adding that the start of the UK peak of the epidemic is expected within the next fortnight.

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