So-called “protective” badges which ward off viruses are being sold around the world.

Some of the badges, featuring a white cross design, appear to be of the type falsely marketed as “virus stoppers” in Russia. Some members of the Russian parliament wore them at a recent meeting of the State Duma.

However, the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) says the substance released by such badges – the bleaching agent chlorine dioxide – is harmful. It says claims that it helps protect against Covid-19 are “fraudulent”.

BBC News Russian asked MP Andrei Svintsov why he wore a “virus blocker” badge. He replied that he didn’t know whether it worked or not, but he hasn’t fallen ill yet.

“I have chewed ginger, and I’m taking Vitamin C. All the rubbish that they say on the internet, I’m using all that. Just in case.”

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has been seen wearing a similar product, but last week Mr Peskov confirmed he had been diagnosed with coronavirus and is currently in hospital.

Dr Wayne Carter, a biochemist and Associate Professor at Nottingham University said the badges could not prevent coronavirus which is “primarily spread in droplets from sneezes… that are inhaled (or possibly ingested) – and that will initiate infection”.

Source : BBC News

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