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Conspiracy theories and predictions

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Google and Apple’s Covid-19 notification technology no ‘secret’

A “Covid-19 sensor” has been “secretly” inserted into every phone, claims a message circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp in several countries recently.

“Apparently when everyone was having ‘phone disruption’ earlier this week, they were adding Covid-19 tracker to our phones,” it reads.

The system wasn’t “secretly” launched. It was reported on major news outlets across the world in May 2020. And you have to opt in.

No, Italian parliament not calling for arrest of Bill Gates

“Italian parliament calls for the arrest of Bill Gates,” reads the headline of a 15 May 2020 article on the South African website Live24.

Conspiracy theories continue to place Bill Gates at the centre of the Covid-19 outbreak. Is this article about the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft accurate? Not all of it.

No, French doctor Raoult didn’t say coronavirus created by US and China to kill Africans

French doctor Didier Raoult has said that the new coronavirus was created by the US and China to “destroy Africa” by killing 30 million of its people.

That’s according to identical Facebook posts circulating in several African countries since 12 May 2020. One of them has been viewed over 3 million times, and shared by more than 19,000 users.

But Raoult told Africa Check he did not say this.

No, Japan’s Nobel laureate Honjo did not say coronavirus ‘unnatural’, made in China

“Japan’s Nobel prize winning Professor of Medicine, Professor Dr Tasuku Honjo, created a sensation today by saying that the Coronavirus is not natural,” says a Facebook post from 25 April 2020.

“Based on all my knowledge and research till date, I can say this with 100% confidence – That the Coronavirus is not natural. It did not come from bats. China manufactured it,” the post quotes Honjo as saying.

On 27 April Honjo, through Kyoto University, released an official statement refuting the claim. Read all the details here.

Canine coronavirus vaccine is for dogs – not related to new coronavirus that causes Covid-19

A photo shared on Facebook in South Africa shows a small bottle labelled “Canine Coronavirus Vaccine”.

“Now this was 2001 tell me why 19 years later they say there is no vaccine,” the caption reads.

The vaccine is real, but it’s unrelated to the new coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Read more on this.

  No, former US president Obama didn’t warn Africans against coronavirus vaccines

Barack Obama is asking Africans not to accept vaccines that will come from America and Europe,” claims a screenshot of an Instagram post being shared on social media.

It then quotes the former US president as saying: “I’m not going to allow white people to kill Africans with their toxic vaccines, I ask Africans to be smart, and to ensure that coronavirus vaccines do not enter African territories.” But there is no evidence Obama has ever said this.


No, Gaddafi didn’t predict coronavirus, but did talk about viruses and vaccines

A graphic showing the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is being shared on Facebook and Twitter, with text quoting him as saying: “They will create the virus themselves and they will sell the antidotes afterwards, pretending to take their time to find the solution when they already have it.”

There is no evidence Gaddafi said these words. Read more here.

Did author foretell pandemic as far as back as 1981? No.

Did author Dean Koontz as far back as 1981 published a novel about a "biological weapon" called "Wuhan-400"?

This popular forward comes with convincing-looking photos to support this claim. for details why

But this claim is inaccurate. Read the full fact-check for details why.


Bill Gates did warn in 2015 of possible global virus outbreak – but not coronavirus specifically

Did Bill Gates in 2015 warn us of the coronavirus outbreak as far back as 2015? Gates did say in that year that there was a possibility the next epidemic could be one that spreads through air or leaves people feeling not well enough to go out in public while infectious.

This is true for Covid-19, but these are characteristics of many viral diseases. Gates wasn’t warning the world specifically of Covid-19, but of a disease like it. Continue reading here.

No, African blood and black skin don’t ‘resist’ new coronavirus

A heavily shared story goes that Chinese doctors have "confirmed" that the "African blood genetic composition" resists the new coronavirus.

The main claim is that an African student supposedly recovered from Covid-19 "because of his blood genetic composition which is mainly found in the genetic composition of Subsaharan Africans."

Has it been confirmed that the “blood genetic composition” of Africans, and black skin, can “resist” coronavirus? No. There isn't any scientific evidence showing this. And many Africans are among those infected. More details here.
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