Which claims about the coronavirus are gaining the most traction in Africa?
1. Dettol hasn’t been tested on the new coronavirus
2. No, you don’t need to shave your beard to protect against the virus
The Nigerian Punch newspaper’s headline said: “To be safe from coronavirus, shave your beard, CDC warns”
3. Nigerian preacher fighting coronavirus
4. False posts about a taxi driver
The Ogun State government dismissed the claims in a statement, saying no patient had escaped from the isolation centre.
Everyone that had any link with the Italian victim of the dreaded virus since he arrived the country has been quarantined. The others, who these primary contacts also had interactions with are equally being monitored.
— Ogun State Government – OGSG (@OGSGofficial) February 29, 2020
5. Kenya training session audio causes alarm
PRESS RELEASE on fake news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the country. pic.twitter.com/SXgnriJsPF
— Spokesperson GoK (@SpokespersonGoK) March 2, 2020
The Ministry of Health would like to caution the general public against an audio being shared on WhatsApp groups about confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Country. There is NO confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kenya. @KNH_hospital @CDCKenya @UNICEFKenya @WHOKenya @BreakingNewsKE pic.twitter.com/dZ5lAPV2C0
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) March 2, 2020
In Nigeria, a preacher posted a video and a poster claiming that pepper soup is a cure for coronavirus. The claim was also shared on WhatsApp.
There is no cure or specific treatment for coronavirus and the claim gives few details about the medicinal properties of pepper soup – a traditional spicy Nigerian dish.
The WHO says the outbreak has caused an “infodemic” of false and misleading information.
In Cape Verde, the tiny Portuguese-speaking West African nation, a post spread on social media claiming that a Brazilian doctor had recommended fennel tea as a cure for coronavirus. It prompted a rush for the herb in local markets, reported AFP.
The Brazilian health ministry has warned people not to share an article suggesting fennel as a cure for coronavirus.
The World Health Organization says that thorough and regular hand-washing is crucial in the fight to avoid infection.
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