Hoaxes (and half truths)

No coronavirus in Nigeria? Pastor’s claim false

“It’s not in Nigeria. That thing cannot survive in Nigeria. Coronavirus does not exist in Nigeria.” This is said by Nigerian pastor Kingsley Innocent says in a video posted on his YouTube channel on 15 March 2020.
But the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reported the country’s first case of coronavirus on 27 February – more than two weeks before Innocent’s video was posted on YouTube.

Not all these South African coronavirus ‘lockdown procedures’ correct – use official regulations instead

A post by the South African Facebook page BKA Boere Krisis Aksie claims seven “lockdown procedures” will be enforced by local authorities during the coronavirus crisis – and that breaking the rules will result in “instant arrest”. The procedures “will not necessarily be made public”, it adds.

The post is a mixture of accurate and inaccurate information. Read why.

South African schools won’t reopen in 2020? No official announcement

Will South African schools only re-open in 2021? That’s the claim by a Facebook page named “Pretoria marking centre” and which uses South Africa’s coat of arms to suggest it’s an official government page.

But this is false. Get the details.


No Likoni ferry ‘lockdown’ during Kenya’s coronavirus curfew

Has Kenya’s key Likoni ferry, which links Mombasa Island to the mainland in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa, been shut down during the coronavirus crisis?

That’s the claim in a document shared on Facebook and signed “by management”.

The Likoni ferry service does face restrictions during Kenya’s coronavirus curfew, but it has not been shut down.

China in drastic bid to kill over 20,000?

China seeks ‘for court’s approval to kill the over 20,000 coronavirus patients to avoid further spread of the virus’. So goes a startling claim, which thankfully, is not true.

Such a case would have attracted wide global interest. It didn’t, and was first published by a junk news site.

Read our full fact-check in English here, and in the Hausa language widely spoken in northern Nigeria here.

Covid-19 in Nigeria? No, country’s first case came weeks later 

Did a strange disease’ reported in Nigeria’s Benue state in January 2020, reportedly killing 15 and sickening over 100, be the new coronavirus, as a national publication reported?

At the time of the report, there had been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Nigeria or Africa. Africa’s first case would only be confirmed on 14 February 2020, in Egypt. Nigeria’s first case was reported two weeks later.

The Nigerian authorities also ruled out that was the new coronavirus. Read details of our fact-check here.

Lagos coronavirus ‘confirmed cases’ hoax

“Lagos confirms 9 cases of Coronavirus, 4 deaths,” claims a 9 February 2020 article on the site FoxNewsNigeria.com. But the country’s first case was only confirmed on 27 February 2020.

The FoxNewsNigeria.com article is an almost word for word copy of a widely published news report on a Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria’s Kogi state. But “Lassa fever” was changed to “coronavirus”, and “Kogi” changed to “Lagos”.  Lagos state authorities also dismissed this as “absolute falsehood”.

Read our fact-check here.

Nigeria records first Covid-19 case?

Nigeria has recorded its “first case of the deadly coronavirus”, claims an article on the website Infomate Ng. Published on 1 February 2020, the article was shared on Facebook and other websites. But the country’s first case came over three weeks later.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control also issued a statement on Twitter dismissing the claim. Get the details here.


Cote d’Ivoire’s first new coronavirus case? No 

China’s Coronavirus hits Africa, first case tested positive in Cote d’Ivoire,” reads the headline of an article on 27 January 2020. But the headline was false. The patient was showing symptoms of coronavirus, but did not test positive for the disease. Africa’s first confirmed case would only come more than two weeks later, with Cote d’Ivoire’s first case confirmed in March 2020.

Read the full check here.


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