The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, still taking lives and livelihoods across the world. Recovery from the crisis has been slowed by a global flood of misinformation about the disease, its impact and potential resolution. Here are five ways fact-checkers in Africa can tackle this “infodemic”.
Filters can “eat any form of virus including coronavirus” on aeroplanes. Source: Fikile Mbalula, South Africa’s transport minister (29 June 2020)
High efficiency particulate air filters capture virtually all viruses and bacteria from the air in plane cabins. But they can’t capture large infected particles or prevent transmission caused by close contact.
The World Health Organization “unequivocally” declared that South Africa was not ready to lift the national Covid-19 lockdown. Source: Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Economic Freedom Fighters member of parliament (30 June 2020)
There is no evidence of the WHO making this statement. The organisation says it only provides guidance but governments have to make their own decisions.
The deaths of at least 10 South African children between the ages of 10 and 19 from Covid-19 “completely disproves the notion that young people and children are less susceptible to contracting the virus”. Source: Political party the Economic Freedom Fighters (2 July 2020)
The number of deaths from the disease within a population group does not prove whether or not children are susceptible to Covid-19. Experts recommend using the infection incidence rate.