Dettol has not been tested on the COVID-19

Dettol can help in fighting coronavirus – viral social media posts

Dettol has been tested on, and found to kill coronaviruses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However, the manufacturer of Dettol, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc(RB), says it has not yet tested its products on the novel coronavirus and could not confirm whether Dettol is effective against the new coronavirus strain.  

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An image circulating on WhatsApp shows a bottle of Dettol with the caption “Imagine Dettol can help in fighting coronavirus and we’re ignorant of it. It’s written on the container zoom and read.” 

Source: WhatsApp

Similar versions of this image have been posted on Facebook; here, and here claiming similar discoveries with hundreds of shares across the platform. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause a range of illnesses including common colds, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and others. On the other hand, this new strain of the virus is one that had not previously been identified in humans.

In recent developments, The WHO has characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. This was announced by the Director-General of WHO, Mr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in his opening remarks at the Mission briefing on the COVID-19 on March 12th, 2020.


A Facebook post by Reckitt Benckiser Group plc(RB), producers of Dettol on January 31st, 2020 states that the product has not been tested on the novel coronavirus and they, therefore, cannot confirm yet whether or not Dettol may be an effective disinfectant against the virus. 

“RB has become aware of speculation about Dettol products and the novel 2019-nCoV coronavirus. 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,” the post said. 

Dettol has however been tested on and found to kill some members of the coronavirus family including MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.

“Our products have been tested against other coronaviruses (such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV) and have been found to kill those. Although 2019-nCoV is a new strain, this virus is very similar to other coronaviruses. We continue to work with our partners to ensure that we have the latest understanding of the virus, route of transmission and will test our product range once health authorities make the strain available,” the producers of Dettol said.


Currently, no specific cure has been found for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Studies are ongoing and more information surfacing daily about the virus’ pattern of infection in humans.  

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