Indonesian officials have warned citizens not to eat up a clearly fake viral video of a magical talking newborn baby who suggested that eating boiled eggs can help the body resist the novel coronavirus.
At a time when a health crisis has brought out the worst of the online hoaxes, the fact that we have been told not to believe the video below is, frankly, depressing.
In the video, the baby appears to be in the middle of a TV interview when a freaky-looking mouth imposed on its lips spouts that boiled eggs eaten before midnight can make one immune to the coronavirus.
Based on our search of the term telur rebus (boiled eggs in Indonesian) on social media, the video above is indeed the one that has gone viral. It's not clear at this point if the video was actually intended to promote boiled eggs or if it's just a parody meme that some people took to be fact.
In an ideal world filled with intellectual human beings, the video would have been ignored into oblivion. Instead, we have Indonesia's COVID-19 task force having to ask citizens not to stockpile eggs after watching the video.
"Boiled eggs contain many good nutrients. It could boost stamina from the protein the egg contains. But as for [giving resistance to COVID-19], that's for doctors competent in their field to prove," COVID-19 task force spokesman Aris Yudhariansyah said yesterday, as quoted by Detik.
East Java Police spokesman Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko said authorities are investigating the matter amid reports that some citizens in the province have been eating boiled eggs late at night lately.
"From the quality of the video, we can see that it's clearly fake. We will look into it," Trunoyudo told CNN Indonesia.
Under Indonesia's Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE), sharing hoaxes online is an offense punishable by up to six years in prison, even if they did not actually create the misleading content.
Indonesian authorities have been particularly sensitive to hoaxes about COVID-19. In early February, before Indonesia officially confirmed any COVID-19 cases in the country, two women were arrested for sharing fake news that the coronavirus had reached Indonesia.