Coronavirus: What misinformation has spread in Africa? | Organize Blog Eğlence Adresi

Coronavirus: What misinformation has spread in Africa?

Coronavirus: What misinformation has spread in Africa?
A woman takes the temperature of a child at Lagos airport, Nigeria Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Currently 33 of 47 sub-Saharan African countries have testing facilities, up from only two in January

As cases of the coronavirus increase around the world, there’s been a flurry of misleading or false news stories emerging, as well.

There have been relatively few confirmed cases of the virus in Africa so far, but the authorities in some countries in the continent are still having to deal with misinformation.

1. No, you don’t need to shave your beard to protect against the virus

An old graphic created by the US health authorities about facial hair and respirators has been used incorrectly to suggest men should shave off their beards to avoid catching the coronavirus.

The Nigerian Punch newspaper’s headline said: “To be safe from coronavirus, shave your beard, CDC warns”

We have added labels to the screenshots to indicate whether the story has been found to be “false” or used an “old photo”.

Stories about David Kingleo Elijah, from the Glorious Mount of Possibility Church started spreading online after a video of him saying he would move to China to “destroy” the virus was uploaded on YouTube and shared on other platforms.

“I am going prophetically to destroy coronavirus. I am going to China, I want to destroy coronavirus,” he says in the video.

A few days later, reports appeared in blogs alleging that he had travelled to China but had been admitted to hospital after contracting the virus. The blogs refer to the pastor under a different name – Elija Emeka Chibuke.

The photo used to show him in hospital is actually a photo of Adeshina Adesanya, a Nigerian actor popularly known as Pastor Ajidara, who died in hospital in 2017.

3. False posts about a taxi driver

A story about the Nigerian driver of a man diagnosed with coronavirus was posted on social media and shared by WhatsApp users – but is untrue.

According to the message, the taxi driver drove a “white man” diagnosed with coronavirus to a location that was quarantined. The Ogun state government then told the driver to go to hospital.

It was claimed the driver then tested positive for coronavirus – but escaped from hospital and threatened to spread the virus unless his family was paid 100m nairas ($274,000).

The report has been denied by the authorities.

The Ogun State government dismissed the claims in a statement, saying no patient had escaped from the isolation centre.

Image Copyright @OGSGofficial @OGSGofficial Image Copyright @SpokespersonGoK @SpokespersonGoK

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Twitter post by @SpokespersonGoK: PRESS RELEASE on fake news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the country. Image Copyright @SpokespersonGoK @SpokespersonGoK

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The recording states that there were 63 cases in the country, which is not true. There are currently no confirmed cases in Kenya.

The health ministry said it had been part of a communications training exercise but did not explain how it had been made public.

Under an existing law, Kenyans risk a fine of $50,000 (£39,000) or a two-year jail sentence for publishing or sharing fake news about an outbreak.

Image Copyright @MOH_Kenya @MOH_Kenya

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Twitter post by @MOH_Kenya: The Ministry of Health would like to caution the general public against an audio being shared on WhatsApp groups about confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Country. There is NO confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kenya. @KNH_hospital @CDCKenya @UNICEFKenya @WHOKenya @BreakingNewsKE Image Copyright @MOH_Kenya @MOH_Kenya

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Coronavirus: How can you protect yourself?

5. Cures

In Nigeria, a preacher posted a video and a poster claiming that pepper soup is a cure for coronavirus. The claim was also shared on WhatsApp.

There is no cure or specific treatment for coronavirus and the claim gives few details about the medicinal properties of pepper soup – a traditional spicy Nigerian dish.

The WHO says the outbreak has caused an “infodemic” of false and misleading information.

In Cape Verde, the tiny Portuguese-speaking West African nation, a post spread on social media claiming that a Brazilian doctor had recommended fennel tea as a cure for coronavirus. It prompted a rush for the herb in local markets, reported AFP.

The Brazilian health ministry has warned people not to share an article suggesting fennel as a cure for coronavirus.

The World Health Organization says that thorough and regular hand-washing is crucial in the fight to avoid infection.

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