- Distell Group Limited, brewers of Old Brown Sherry dismissed a claim that the drink is a cure for Covid-19.
- The Eastern Cape health department described the claim as "100% absolute pure nonsense".
- A voice note is doing the rounds claiming a minor recovered from Covid-19 after drinking Sherry.
The brewers of Sedgwick's Old Brown Sherry, the Distell Group Limited, and the Eastern Cape health department have dismissed reports that the popular drink is a cure for Covid-19.
The reports are contained in a viral WhatsApp voice note doing rounds on social media, recorded by an unidentified woman.
The woman alleges that the healing power of the drink was demonstrated at Frere Hospital in East London where a minor, on the brink of death, made a recovery after consuming the alcohol.
"The child was admitted at Frere Hospital, weak and dying, but their uncle smuggled in Old Brown in a squeeze bottle and fed to the child. The following morning, there were no traces of Covid-19 in the child. She recovered. Apparently Old Brown makes the blood hot and therefore kills Covid-19. Covid-19 does not thrive in a hot blood," said the voice note.
Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said: "That is 100% absolute pure nonsense."
In a statement released on the group's website on Thursday, Distell Group Limited said: "We have become aware of a WhatsApp voice note alleging that Old Brown Sherry offers medicinal benefits. This is simply not true. Old Brown Sherry is not a cure for Covid-19.
"We are equally shocked and extremely concerned that the voice note also suggests that Old Brown Sherry can be consumed by minors - it is illegal for alcohol to be sold to or consumed by anyone under the age of 18, and as Distell we do not condone the consumption of alcohol by minors.
"We advise all consumers and our wider stakeholder community to always refer to official sources of information on Covid-19."
This includes government's SA coronavirus website or the WHO; CDC; Department of Health and NCID websites.
The voice note sparked excitement in some, while others deemed it a joke on social media platforms.