Coronavirus: watch out for these myths and ‘fake news' circulating the internet

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 which has been responsible for more than 5,000 deaths in the world as of 13th March 2020, continues to be a hot topic and a large focus of fake news on social media networks. Here is a list of this 'fake news', as verified by the AFP.

Coronavirus: Watch Out For These Myths And ‘Fake News' Circulating The Internet
© getty images
Coronavirus: Watch Out For These Myths And ‘Fake News' Circulating The Internet

Ever since it arrived almost two months ago, the coronavirus has been raging across more than 120 countries in the world and is responsible for 5,000 deaths and more than 135,000 people being infected. And as was to be expected with the internet, there is now lots of fake news circulating, particularly on social media, creating confusion and panic among internet users, as well as participating in a global misinformation surrounding this virus. And so you can sort the truth from the lies, here is a non-exhaustive list of the myths and 'fake news’, created by the fact-checking service at AFP.

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42 fake news

  1. No, the coronavirus detected in China was not created in a laboratory and then patented.
  2. No, the coronavirus did not appear at this market in China, but actually at an Indonesian market.
  3. This video of the Chinese president visiting a mosque is old news and has nothing to do with the new coronavirus.
  4. No, the Comoros did not give China $100 to combat the coronavirus.
  5. This video showing pigs being buried alive has nothing to do with the recent coronavirus.
  6. No, this footage doesn’t show the Chinese Prime Minister praying in a mosque due to the coronavirus.
  7. No, this image doesn’t show the new hostel in Wuhan, but the CHU Tanger in Morocco.
  8. No, drinking water does nothing to stop you from contracting the coronavirus.
  9. No, a minister from Sudan didn’t wear a mask to welcome a Chinese diplomat.
  10. Recent coronavirus: these screen grabs from the media announcing new cases of contamination in France are fake.
  11. No, cocaine doesn’t cure the coronavirus.
  12. No, using a saline solution doesn’t nothing to counter the Chinese coronavirus.
  13. This image doesn’t show people in the street who have been infected by the new coronavirus, but rather an artistic performance in Germany.
  14. No, black people are not more resistant to the coronavirus.
  15. No, there were no cases of the coronavirus in a hotel in Libreville.
  16. No, a minister has not announced cases of the coronavirus in the DRC.
  17. No, this video doesn’t show Mauritanians fleeing at the sight of a Chinese person out of fear for the coronavirus.
  18. Winter is the ideal time for the virus to spread, but the spring ‘heat' doesn’t ‘kill’.
  19. No, the WHO is not considering canceling Mecca pilgrimage because of the coronavirus.
  20. No, this video does not show people who have died from the coronavirus on a street in China.
  21. No, this video doesn’t not show people praying so as not to catch the coronavirus.
  22. Please not, this video showing racist reactions to the coronavirus was shot with a hidden camera and actors.
  23. No, this is not a current sulphur dioxide map of Wuhan.
  24. No, this video does not show Chinese people converting to Islam during the recent coronavirus epidemic.
  25. Coronavirus: chloroquine, according to experts, this very preliminary medication should be taken with extreme caution.
  26. This disinfectant gel’s label doesn’t prove that the coronavirus has been around for a long time.
  27. No, beef is not ‘the best vaccine’ against the coronavirus.
  28. Health authorities do not recommend shaving your beard to protect yourself from the coronavirus.
  29. No, this video does not show Germans rushing into a store to stock up on goods as a result of the coronavirus.
  30. No, the Simpsons did not predict the arrival of the coronavirus in 1993.
  31. Beware, this press release from the Ministry of the Interior announcing a protest ban and postponing municipal elections is fake.
  32. This image of the President and Senegal officials with face masks is photoshopped.
  33. No, this disinfectant hand gel does not promote cancer.
  34. No, this photo is not of a man infected by the COVID-19 in Morocco. It was taken from an advert for an Algerian Ophthalmology Clinic.
  35. No, these photos of people praying in the streets in Italy have nothing to do with the recent coronavirus.
  36. No, drinking water every 15 minutes does nothing to prevent the coronavirus.
  37. No, this herbal product has not been approved by Iran as a remedy for the coronavirus.
  38. No, this footage doesn’t show a hospital collapsing in Wuhan that was built in just ten days for coronavirus victims.
  39. Please note that this list of alleged ‘simple and accessible to all’ advice on how to combat the coronavirus contains fake news and has no scientific basis.
  40. No, doctors in Senegal have not discovered a treatment for the coronavirus.
  41. The deceased who were infected by the coronavirus can still benefit from receiving certain mortuary care.
  42. No, drinking boiled water infused with garlic does nothing to cure the recent coronavirus.
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