A photo of a Dettol bottle, manufactured in October 2019, is being shared widely on social media with a claim that Dettol can kill Coronavirus, as ‘Coronavirus’ is mentioned on the bottle. Also, social media users were questioning about how Dettol company knew about the Coronavirus back in October 2019 (novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first reported from Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019). Let’s try to analyze the claim made in the post.
Claim: Dettol kills Coronavirus. The company knew about the Coronavirus back in October 2019.
Fact: The ‘Coronavirus’ mentioned on Dettol bottle is the previous strains of Coronavirus, not the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Also, Dettol manufacturer (‘RB’) has clarified that they do not yet have more details of the new virus and are not yet in a position to confirm levels of effectiveness against the new strain. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
When searched about the news on Google, it was found that RB (Reckitt Benckiser), the manufacturer of Dettol, has given a clarification on the viral pictures claiming that Dettol can kill ‘2019-nCoV’ virus. In the Livemint article, it can be read that the company said, ‘As this is an emerging outbreak, RB, like all manufacturers, doesn’t yet have access to the new virus (2019-nCoV) for testing and, as a result, are not yet in a position to confirm levels of effectiveness against the new strain’.
On the WHO website, it can be read that ‘a novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The new, or “novel” coronavirus, now called 2019-nCoV, had not previously detected before the outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.’. The ‘Coronavirus’ mentioned on the Dettol bottle is regarding some of the previous strains of Coronavirus, not about the 2019 novel Coronavirus. More information about the previous strains of Coronavirus and the 2019-nCoV can be seen here.
To sum it up, ‘Coronavirus’ mentioned on Dettol was about some previous strains of Coronavirus, not 2019-nCoV.
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