Photos shared on Facebook show South African president Cyril Ramaphosa greeting and hugging a man. Several people can be seen in the background.
The post reads: “On the 6th June 2020 it was totally permissible for President Ramaphosa and over 50 ANC members not to wear a mask at a birthday party, NO social Distancing … It really doesn’t make sense.” Did Ramaphosa and other members of the ruling African National Congress violate these rules? No – the photos are old.
Nigerian news agency Anambra Broadcasting Services posted a video on Facebook that it described as showing “the current state of Sani Abacha stadium in Kano, a designated Covid-19 isolation centre”. The video’s narration suggests that this means the coronavirus outbreak is a lie. This is misleading.
“We have successfully fed 17.3 million children in their homes from 96 selected local government areas in Nigeria today the 14th of May 2020 and will continue with the program this weekend,” reads a quote in a graphic circulating on Facebook.
The quote is attributed to Sadiya Farouq, Nigeria’s minister of humanitarian affairs, and the graphic shows a photo of her. But it’s fake.
A photo on a popular Kenyan Facebook page shows three men in uniform appearing to arrest a man.
Its caption reads: “A facemask seller was arrested for not wearing mask by policemen who were not wearing masks.” It was posted on 20 May 2020.
But its not true and shows protesters in Nigeria over three years earlier.
An image shared on Facebook shows a man holding a placard that reads: “No coronavirus in Nigeria If you believe share.”
The post has been shared 38,000 times since it was posted in April 2020. And its claim is false.
Can you believe this?” asks the description of a video shared on Facebook. It shows an elderly woman lying on a hospital bed covered by what seems to be a plastic body bag.
“Doctors told the family that she died from covid-19. They didn’t believe it so they barged in the morgue of the hospital to see for themselves. They unzipped the body bag and found her still alive.” But this claim is false.
False Covid-19 cases in Nigeria,” reads text on what seems to be a screenshot of a CNN news report, posted on Facebook. It adds: “Nigerian govt accused of taking advantage of the pandemic.”
But the report could not be found on CNN’s website. And the news hasn’t been reported by any credible media outlet. Google and TinEye reverse image searches reveal the same screenshot has been used with many different texts to make other false claims.
“Finally, WHO declares support for Madagascar’s claim over Covid-19 cure,” reads the headline of an online article. The article, from 21 May 2020, says the World Health Organization has congratulated Madagascar for developing Covid-Organics, a plant-based remedy launched as a “cure” for the new coronavirus.
Rajoelina did say that the WHO told him it supports the clinical observations process for Covid-Organics. But this is not the same as “declaring support” for the tonic as an all-out “cure”.
“Orania a Whites Only town appeals to government for Covid-19 relief funds,” claims a 12 May 2020 article published on the site Savanna News and shared on Facebook.
For three decades Orania has maintained its self-declared independence from the rest of South Africa. But is the town, which has no black residents, now asking the government for help? No, it says it hasn’t.
Rwandan president Paul Kagame has publicly attacked the World Health Organization, claim Facebook posts and website articles circulating online since mid-May 2020.
They include claims that Kagame warned the WHO to “be careful and watch out”, and said: “No one from foreign countries will ever rule or control Africa!” But there is no evidence he said this.
“Madagascar quits the World Health Organization, urges other African countries to do the same,” reads the headline of an online article.
The story, from 16 May 2020, says Madagascar’s president Andry Rajoelina took the decision “because of the bad faith of Europe towards Africa” after the African country’s medicine against Coronavirus was ignored.
But this is false – Madagascar has not quit the organisation.
Madagascar’s president Andry Rajoelina has said the World Health Organization offered him US$20 million to poison a herbal based tonic he has been promoting as a treatment for Covid-19.
That’s according to dozens of posts circulating on Facebook in Tanzania and beyond since 15 May 2020. The posts have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
Nearly all of them reference the Tanzania Perspective newspaper, which in turn cites an interview by Rajoelina with French media outlet France24. But nowhere did the president say this.
US president Donald Trump said Nigeria “is not getting any money if they do not present the people that tested positive for Covid-19 for us to confirm”, claims an article on the site Habaklef Music.
The 20 April 2020 article has been shared more than 1,500 times – and viewed more than 900,000 times – on Facebook. But it’s not true.
“FBI Arrests Bill Gate For Biological Terrorism,” reads the headline of a 13 May 2020 article on the Nigerian blog Southern Dailies.
“Billionaire founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates (64) has been arrested by the FBI today on charges of biological terrorism after it was revealed he created the coronavirus so that he could control us because he’s always had an interest in that kind of thing,” the article says. But there hasn’t been such an arrest.
South Africa is approaching 50 days of lockdown meant to contain the coronavirus. Its people “need to now brace for water cuts and higher tariffs going forward as the R220 million allocated for drought relief went ‘missing’”.
That’s the claim in a graphic posted on Facebook on 12 May 2020 and viewed tens of thousands of times. But the news is old.
A graphic shared widely on Facebook in South Africa claims that the “education minister” has said that “our foods doesn’t come from farms”, but instead from local supermarkets Shoprite, Spar and Checkers.
The graphic shows the quote underneath a photo of the country’s minister for basic education, Angie Motshekga. Originally satirical, it is now unfortunately being shared as genuine.
A Facebook post shows what seems to be a tweet by Tanzania’s health minister, Ummy Mwalimu, announcing she has tested positive for Covid-19.
The tweet is fake. Read on for more details.
A photo of a man with a swollen face has been posted on Facebook in Kenya.
“Chinese man beaten in kilimani for deliberately coughing in the face of a security guard,” the caption reads. Kilimani is a neighbourhood in the capital, Nairobi.
The story has been shared on several Facebook pages since 10 May 2020. But it’s false.
State gets green light to tap private phone calls,” claims a post on the Facebook page Kenya News and Updates, dated 26 April 2020 .
“The court of appeal has allowed the Communication Authority of Kenya to install a mass surveillance system that will allow the government to snoop your phone conversations.” But the judiciary says this is misleading.
Nigeria’s federal government has admitted to agreeing to the forceful vaccination of its people against the coronavirus, claims a blog.
“COVID-19: FG admits to signing a forced vaccine on Nigerians,” the post’s headline reads. But this is misleading. Read why.
A video of a man jumping from a building to his death is making rounds on Facebook in Kenya.
“Italian Billionaire commits suicide by throwing himself from 20th Floor of his tower after his entire family was wiped out by coronavirus,” its caption reads.
Is this true? No – it was of an unrelated death in the US in 2015.
A video is making the rounds online with the claim it shows people in Nigeria’s Kano state protesting against a government-imposed lockdown to curb the Covid-19 outbreak.
It’s been shared on Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook with the caption: “Kano rejects lockdown and curfew. It’s a problem of the rich. I have wives and children to feed. God will save us.” But the said protest took place in Plateau state.
As countries respond to the coronavirus crisis, false information about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spread online.
An image posted on Facebook and WhatsApp shows the sign at the entrance to the foundation’s building at 500 5th Ave N in Seattle.
Above the words “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”, the sign reads “Centre for Global Human Population Reduction”. But it is fake and has been photoshopped.
Karanja Kibicho, Kenya’s interior ministry principal secretary, shows the middle finger in what seems to be a screenshot of a Citizen TV article circulating on Facebook in late April 2020.
“Kibicho says 402 ‘idiots’ arrested on Sunday for violating curfew,” the headline reads. But the image has been manipulated.
A shaky video posted on Facebook on 22 March 2020 shows uniformed officers striking members of a crowd gathered in a street. “Zimbabwean police beating people out of a church #coronavirus,” the caption reads.
Does the video show Zimbabwean police enforcing these regulations by “beating people out of a church”? No, it is unrelated and it was taken before the first global case of Covid-19.
“Whites Banned from Receiving Government Aid in South Africa during World Covid-19 Crisis,” claims the headline of an article on the website ANC Sanctioned Genocide.
The undated article has been circulating on Facebook since 27 April 2020. But the government termed this as false and such a move would be unconstitutional. Get more details here.
“Putin backs Trump decision says ‘We should terminate WHO” they are evil,” reads the headline of an article on the Nigeria-based website Sahara Gist.
“The Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported the decision of the US President to stop funding WHO over their failure to investigate on Covid-19 outbreak,” the poorly written five-paragraph article claims.
A photo of what seem to be dozens of dead bodies wrapped in plastic, with three people wearing masks standing among them, has been shared on Facebook in Kenya.
It’s captioned: “A second won’t cost you anything, just type ‘Thank you God for the gift of life’. COVID-19 must go.”
But the photo is of people killed by the 2004 tsunami off the coast of Indonesia.
A Facebook post claims oil company KenolKobil is giving away free K-Gas cooking gas cylinders in Kenya as part of its corporate social responsibility during the Covid-19 outbreak.
But there’s a catch.The post links to a web page where people are told to book their free gas cylinder – for a delivery fee. Don’t fall for it – it is a scam.
The United States is “giving free VISA to Doctors and Nurses who wish to work in US as Coronavirus Case Rises,” claims an article on a Nigerian website.
The article has been shared on Facebook, where it’s been viewed more than 1.7 million times. But this claim is false. Read why here.
What looks like a front page of the Southern Times newspaper is circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp in Kenya. The headline reads: “Avoid Kenyans at all costs.”
The page claims this is because Kenyans are not self-quarantine despite travelling a lot and to make its point, shows Kenya Airways aircraft. But the page has been manipulated.
The headline of an online article claims the United Nations has said it is “not sure of any Covid-19 in Nigeria”.
The article appears to be copied, almost word-for-word, from the opening paragraphs of an article published in the Vanguard newspaper on 6 April.
A graphic video showing dozens of dead bodies washed onto a beach has been making the rounds on Facebook.
“Some countries throw Covid19 infected dead bodies into the seas,” text in the video reads. “Advice to stop eating seafood. The World is really coming to an end.” But the video is unrelated to the pandemic.
A photo circulating on Facebook in Kenya on 15 April 2020 shows two police officers escorting a man down a street.
“The citizen was arrested by the government for not wearing a face mask,” one caption reads. “Ironically the government [officials] arresting this poor citizen doesn’t have a face mask. But the photo is from 2014 – long before the pandemic.
A screenshot shared on Facebook claims a hawker selling face masks in Nairobi, Kenya’s populous capital, has been diagnosed with Covid-19. It attributes the news to the Star, a Kenyan newspaper.
The Star has dismissed the screenshot as fake.
A video of US Federal Bureau of Investigation agents carrying boxes of N95 face masks out of a house and loading them into a truck was posted on Facebook.
“FBI taken back all the face mask from China tested positive of Coronavirus Covid 19,” the caption reads. “These are the same mask that China sent to Africa. God save us.” But the video is of the FBI confiscating hoarded masks.
Posts circulating on social media in Nigeria claim a member of a medical team sent to the country by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to help manage the Covid-19 outbreak has tested positive for the disease.
This is inaccurate, with the original Twitter account and tweet having been deleted.
Has the US arrested a Harvard University scientist for “manufacturing” the new coronavirus, and selling it to China? So claims a post circulating on social media.
A Harvard professor was arrested and charged in the US. But the arrest had nothing to do with Covid-19. Read more on this here.
Seven “victims” of the coronavirus have been “shot dead by unknown gunmen” in Rwanda, claims what seems to be a screenshot of post by BBC News, reposted on Facebook.
BBC News Africa has branded the post fake and urged people to always verify news, especially about the coronavirus. Continue reading here.
“The vaccine has just arrived Nigeria airport few hours ago from China,” says a Facebook post from 7 April 2020.
The post includes four photos of large plastic-wrapped bundles being offloaded from a plane. The bundles have “China Aid” written on them.
The post claims the bundles include Covid-19 vaccines to be distributed to Nigerians for free. But the pictures were taken in Ghana, and the supplies did not include vaccines.
Has Kenya’s Ministry of Education announced that pupils will have to repeat the final year of high school in 2021 due to the pandemic?
What seems to be a screenshot of a TV broadcast showing education minister George Magoha started circulating on Facebook in early April 2020. But it is manipulated. Get more details here.
A video posted on Facebook and WhatsApp in late March 2020 shows hundreds of people praying in a city square.
On Facebook, the caption reads: “In Italy, people of all religion are asking for forgiveness from Allah Almighty while prostrating to Allah.” But it is of a Christian vigil in Peru before Covid-19 was reported to the WHO. Continue reading here.
Two photos showing thousands of banknotes scattered in a street have been shared on Facebook with the claim they were taken in Italy.
“Italian streets littered with Euros. They say they don’t need them. It’s not about money anymore but if you’ll wake up tomorrow. Their lives are at stake,” the post reads.
A photo of hundreds of neat piles of bedding and food set out on a dusty stretch of ground was shared on Facebook in Kenya on 30 March 2020. It alleged that this was Rwanda providing for its citizens during lockdowns, while Kenya is not.
The photo, however, is of food being distributed by a sheikh in the Gambia during the month of Ramadan in May 2019.
“The government of Kenya has discovered that Covid-19 virus spreads faster in the dark,” reads text on what seems to be a screenshot of a CNN news broadcast, shared on Facebook.
The screen shows Wolf Blitzer, a CNN news anchor. Kenya has a curfew from 7pm to 5am. The photo is manipulated, with no evidence the virus spreads faster nocturnally.
“Covid-19 is confirmed as airborne and remains 8 hours in the air! So everyone is required to wear a mask everywhere,” reads what seems to be a screenshot of a CNBC news report, posted on social media. This is a misrepresentation of the facts. Read why here.
A photo of what looks like clothes and blankets packed into plastic-wrapped bales, stacked in rows on a concrete floor is claimed to be of clothing from people infected with Covid-19 in China, shipped to Africa to be sold cheaply.
This is false. The WHO and Harvard Medical School says it is safe to receive goods from Covid-19-infected areas. Read our fact-check for more details.
A photo posted on a Kenyan Facebook group shows uniformed officers beating a woman and a man with batons. The woman is on her knees as an officer strikes her.
“Police will kill Kenyan’s more than corona will do. #CurfewKenya,” the caption reads. The photo however is of unrelated protests in 2016.
A screenshot of a Channels TV news report is being shared on WhatsApp in Nigeria, with the claim that it shows the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country – 472 in total.
But the figures in the screenshot “are reported cases of lassa fever”, not of Covid-19. Read the details here.
“Suspected female Chinese with covid 19 stoned to death in Nyali Mombasa after she failed to go to hospital,” reads the headline of an article posted on a Kenyan Facebook group page.
The 18 March 2020 article claims supermarket staff noticed that the woman had symptoms of Covid-19, the coronavirus disease. But the photo was taken much earlier, in 2013.
A photo of hundreds of people crammed onto balconies on the side of a building has been posted on Facebook with the claim it was taken in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi in March 2020.
But it is not of Kenyans for a curfew crackdown by security forces – the picture is at least nine years old.
A screenshot with a photo of a train tanker that seems to have “COVID-19” stamped on its side has been widely shared on Facebook and WhatsApp.
The text above the photo reads: “This photo taken in kansas in America in September 2019 something doesn’t add up. LET’S OPEN OUR EYES!” But the picture is fake.
A photo of a grey-haired man, tears running down his face as he stands in front of a microphone, has been posted on Facebook. But it is not Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte throwing in the towel. It is of Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil in a totally unrelated event. Get the details.
A photo of dozens of wooden coffins, a rose on top of each, has been posted on social media.
Text above the photo urges people to socially distance themselves from others because of the new coronavirus. It reads: “In case you’re still not convinced to say home for you & ur beloved ones … Here’s a picture from Italy!” But the photo is not of coronavirus patients – but of the coffins of some of the African migrants killed in a shipwreck off the Italian coast in 2013. Details here.
“President Putin Releases 800 Lions And Hyenas In Russian Streets To Keep Everyone Home,” reads the headline of an article shared on Facebook in Nigeria.
The photo has nothing to do with Russian president Vladimir Putin – the photo was taken on a film set in 2016, in Johannesburg, South Africa, just down the road from the Africa Check’s office.
“Some Kenyans overcrowd church halls today despite government and medical warnings to avoid overcrowded places,” reads a Facebook post from 22 March 2020. But the attached photos are years old.
Constant sex kills coronavirus,” reads the text on what seems to be a screenshot of a CNN news report and posted on Facebook and WhatsApp. But this content can’t be found on the CNN website and has not been reported by any credible news source. The screenshot has been used before to make several other claims in the past.
Indeed, like other forms of contact, it can be a risk factor for infection. Read our full check here.
Citizen TV reports Kenya’s second case only hours after the first? No
Was Kenya’s second Covid-19 case confirmed on 13 March 2020, only hours after the first? This is according to what seemed to be a screenshot of a Facebook post by Citizen TV, a mainstream Kenyan news organisation.
But the station termed the screenshot fake. The country’s second case was confirmed on 15 March 2020. See the fact-check.
Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo has said there are no cases of coronavirus in the country, claimed an article shared on Facebook. A screenshot of the article was also posted on WhatsApp. But this is not accurate. And the photo has been used before for an unrelated event.
“Millions of Death recorded as an Effect of the ‘CORONAVIRUS’ in China,” a Facebook user in Nigeria posted on 13 February 2020.
“Many are still dying and many are infected deeply with it. My question is: WHO CREATED OR INVENTED THIS VIRUS? This is really a ‘MASSIVE DESTRUCTION’!”
But the photo in the post doesn’t show dead people, and has nothing to do with the Covid-19 outbreak. It was snapped in 2014, and shows a performance art project in Frankfurt, Germany. Get more details here.
Do two photos show the streets of Hong Kong before and after the outbreak of Covid-19, the new strain of coronavirus? No, the first photo is of Hong Kong, but from November 2019 – not December. And the second photo doesn’t show Hong Kong at all.
A post on a Nigeria-based Facebook page claims the coronavirus is an “unknown virus” that kills in “under few seconds”.
It includes two photos. The first shows people in medical masks. The second is an aerial view of dozens of people lying on the street.
Both photos are unrelated to the new coronavirus outbreak, which started in December 2019. The first was taken in August 2018 in western Uganda, where there was a suspected case of Ebola. The second photo dates back to March 2014 and shows a performance art project in Frankfurt, Germany. Read our fact-check here.
“Corona patient spent two days at Weston Hotel,” reads what looks like the front page of Saturday Nation, a Kenyan newspaper, posted on Facebook.”
The Weston Hotel in Nairobi is associated with deputy president William Ruto.
A reverse image search reveals that it is fake. Several blogs have published the original front page of the newspaper.
The headline originally read: “Not yet Uhuru for women and youth.” It was published on 27 August 2016.
An image shared on Facebook claims it shows a Sudanese minister wearing a surgical mask while speaking to a Chinese official.
The post, from 8 February 2020, seems to be a reference to the Covid-19 outbreak.
A reverse image search traces the original image to the website of Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs. Here the Sudanese official is not wearing a mask. The image shared on social media has been digitally altered. Read the full-check here.
“Carona virus has been found in broiler chicken,” reads a screenshot of an older Facebook post uploaded on Facebook in Nigeria on 1 March 2020.
The screenshot is from a post uploaded on Facebook in India, where the claim has been widespread.
It shows photos of dead chickens and chicken meat. But the images have nothing to do with coronavirus.
An official-looking document attached to the 19 March 2020 post, headed “GOVERNMENT OF KENYA”, is addressed to “all landlords and landladies in Kenya”. They must not collect rent for three months, it supposedly says.
But the Kenyan government told Africa Check this was fake.
“Let me say the truth and die, the Italian Coronavirus man was paid to act the drama – Sultan of Sokoto,” reads the headline of an article shared widely on Facebook in Nigeria.
The claim is that the sultan, Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III, who is considered the spiritual leader of the country’s Muslims, said Nigeria’s first case of Covid-19 was a hoax. This is false – the headline of the article shared on Facebook seems to be clickbait, and is false.
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