Home Technology Coronavirus: What misinformation has distribute in Africa?

Coronavirus: What misinformation has distribute in Africa?


African countries are going through a increase in the variety of new coronavirus instances, and quite a few governments are now enforcing rigorous social distancing measures.

As they prepare for a surge in situations, misleading facts has been spreading all through the continent.

1. Vaccines aren’t getting examined on Africans

There are extensively-shared social media posts declaring that African persons are to be applied as guinea pigs to examination a new coronavirus vaccine. Nonetheless, these types of claims are bogus – there is no vaccine for Covid-19 and only a range of medical trials are getting put, none of them at the moment in African international locations.

We’re not positive in which these statements originate from but they are inclined to focus on how African men and women will be offered the vaccine to check it is harmless for use in Western nations.

A single of them contains a YouTube video of a girl talking in French declaring: “There is now a vaccine to vaccinate ALL Africans but none for Western countries, so I’m pleading with my African brothers and sisters not to take this vaccine.” It presently has about 20,000 views, with a lot of social media people presenting assistance in their remarks on the clip.

Yet another YouTube online video is producing identical statements that the vaccine will be applied on African individuals to exam if it’s protected just before staying applied in wealthier countries.

Fears about vaccines are not unusual in some communities exactly where there is a distrust of present day drugs. In French-talking Africa, in which rumours about the Covid-19 vaccine have spread, there were being equivalent considerations and misinformation about the Ebola vaccine, a cure that has contributed to tackling the sickness.

Covid-19 testing in South Africa
Testing for Covid-19 in South Africa

2. Black skin is not resistant to Covid-19

There have been persistent recommendations on social media about pores and skin colour and resistance to the sickness.

On 13 March the Kenyan health minister dismissed the rumours that “those with black pores and skin are unable to get coronavirus”.

We spoke to Professor Thumbi Ndung’u from the Nelson R Mandela Faculty of Medicine in Durban who explained “there is totally no proof to back up the concept – and without a doubt, we know that people with black pores and skin are receiving contaminated.”

3. A cup of black tea does not heal coronavirus

Trying to keep hydrated is important for your wellbeing, but consuming black tea is not a heal or therapy for Covid-19 as has been claimed.

Twitter image from Kenyan TV, debunking tea drinking cure for Covid-19
Kenyan media have been highlighting untrue statements that consuming tea is powerful against Covid-19

In accordance to neighborhood Kenyan media reviews, people today there have been obtaining telephone phone calls advising them to drink tea to stay away from the coronavirus – and that if they didn’t they could possibly die from the illness.

It’s a myth that has been unfold somewhere else and has no professional medical basis.

Scientists across the earth are carrying out analysis into possible vaccines, but the expectation is that 1 will not be all set right up until at minimum the center of next 12 months.

4. No, you really do not need to have to shave your beard to secure from the virus

An old graphic created by the US well being authorities about facial hair and respirators has been utilised incorrectly to propose guys need to shave off their beards to stay clear of catching the coronavirus.

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

False headline claiming that the US health authorities recommend shaving off beards to protect against coronavirus

The US Centers for Condition Manage (CDC) impression reveals dozens of examples of facial hair and which kinds to avoid when sporting a respirator mask. Beard models these kinds of as Facet Whiskers and the Zappa are accepted but the Garibaldi and French Fork can interfere with the valve and avoid the respirator working properly.

The graphic is genuine – but it was designed in 2017 (perfectly in advance of the coronavirus outbreak) for staff who have on tight-fitting respirators. Contrary to what’s been described, the CDC has not revealed it a short while ago and it does not advocate that people shave off their beards.

Identical headlines have appeared in other nations around the world, creating thousands of shares. Australian information outlet 7News posted on Twitter: “How your beard might unknowingly enhance your threat of coronavirus.”

Recent United kingdom health and fitness tips is that though masks are beneficial for health care team in hospitals, “there is quite little proof of widespread gain for customers of the public”.

5. Nigerian preacher fighting coronavirus

An evangelical preacher who promises he can cure the virus has also been the issue of disinformation.

Screenshot of false story about a Nigerian pastor who said he would go to China to cure coronavirus. The article includes an old photo of dead Nigerian actor

Stories about David Kingleo Elijah, from the Superb Mount of Chance Church started out spreading on line following a online video of him saying he would shift to China to “destroy” the virus was uploaded on YouTube and shared on other platforms.

“I am going prophetically to ruin coronavirus. I am heading to China, I want to wipe out coronavirus,” he suggests in the online video.

A handful of days afterwards, experiences appeared in blogs alleging that he experienced travelled to China but had been admitted to hospital following contracting the virus. The weblogs refer to the pastor underneath a distinctive identify – Elija Emeka Chibuke.

The photograph used to demonstrate him in healthcare facility is basically a photo of Adeshina Adesanya, a Nigerian actor popularly regarded as Pastor Ajidara, who died in clinic in 2017.

6. Ingesting pepper soup is not a get rid of.

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

There is no heal or specific remedy for coronavirus and the assert offers couple of facts about the medicinal houses of pepper soup – a regular spicy Nigerian dish.

The WHO says the outbreak has caused an “infodemic” of wrong and misleading data.

In Cape Verde, the small Portuguese-speaking West African nation, a write-up spread on social media saying that a Brazilian medical professional experienced proposed fennel tea as a get rid of for coronavirus. It prompted a hurry for the herb in neighborhood marketplaces, documented AFP.

The Brazilian overall health ministry has warned persons not to share an report suggesting fennel as a remedy for coronavirus.

The Globe Wellbeing Group says that comprehensive and frequent hand-washing is very important in the struggle to keep away from an infection.


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