Fake news spread in Africa on coronavirus: ‘It is good to cut beard, nothing will happen to black skin’

With the increase of coronavirus cases in African countries, many governments have started to take strict social distance measures.
With the increase in the number of cases, lie and misleading news about coronavirus, Covid-19 spread throughout the continent.
With the increase in the number of cases, lie and misleading news about coronavirus, Covid-19 spread throughout the continent.
1- Vaccines are not tested on Africans
On social media, allegations of Africans being used in new coronavirus vaccine trials such as the ‘guinea pig’ have spread. But these claims are not true. There is no vaccine for Covid-19 yet. And there are clinical trials in only a few countries, none of which is in Africa.
We do not know where these allegations came from, but false news is spreading that the vaccine will be tested on African peoples before it is used in Western countries.
One of those who spread this is a woman who broadcasts in French on the YouTube channel. The woman said, “There is now a vaccine, but not in the Western countries, they will use it to vaccinate ALL Africans. I am calling out to my African brothers. The video was watched by at least 20 thousand people. A lot of support messages were shared in the comments below.
There are similar claims in another YouTube video. Rumors are spreading that the vaccine will be used in experimental Africans to determine if the vaccine is safe before use in the West.
Fear developed against vaccines is common in some societies where there is not much trust in modern medicine. In French-speaking African countries, where rumors about Covid-19 were spreading, similar concerns and false news had also been raised for the Ebola vaccine. The Ebola vaccine has worked greatly in controlling and treating the outbreak.
2- Black skin is not resistant to Covid-19
Social media claims that black, dark skin is resistant to Covid-19.
In his statement on March 13, Kenyan Minister of Health made a statement saying that the rumors that “black skin will not get coronavirus” are not correct.
“There is absolutely no evidence to support this idea, of course, those who have black skin can also get infected,” said Thumbi Ndung, a Nelson R. Mandela Medical School Professor at Durbon, who told the BBC.
3- Black tea does not cure coronavirus
It is good for the body to drink fluids, but drinking black tea is not a cure and is not a drug against Covid-19 as claimed.
According to Kenyan local media, people call each other and share drinking black tea to prevent coronavirus. They suggest that if they do not drink black tea, they will die.
This is one of the urban legends that spreads without any medical foundation.
Scientists worldwide are conducting research for vaccine development, but it is stated that the vaccine is difficult to find at least until the middle of next year.
4- No, you don’t need to cut your beard to protect yourself from the virus
There are also false reports saying that ‘cutting beards is a way of virus protection’ using a graphic that US health officials previously prepared on facial hair and breathing techniques.
“CDC (American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) warns, cut your beard to protect against coronavirus” in the headline of the newspaper Punch, Nigeria.
In fact, the graphic is about which hairs on the face and which beard types can reduce the effect of the mask when the mask is worn.
The chart was made for workers working with masks on their faces in 2017 long before the coronavirus came out. Contrary to claims, the CDC has not published this graphic recently and does not advise cutting beards to protect it from coronavirus.
Similar headlines were posted in other countries and shared by thousands of people. “Your beard may be increasing the risk of coronavirus without you noticing” on Twitter, 7News news site in Australia.
British health officials say the mask is important for healthcare workers, but there is no strong evidence that it is very effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
5- Nigerian preacher fighting the coronavirus
A Protestant preacher, who claimed to be able to cure the virus, was also in the focus of false news.
Urban legends about preacher David Kingleo Elijah first began to spread on social media. The preacher said in a video that he could go to China and ‘defeat the virus’. A few days later, on the blogs, news began that the preacher went to China but was infected and hospitalized. But on blogs, a different priest named Elija Emeka Chibuke.
The person who was seen lying in the hospital in the frequently shared photographs was his actor Adeshina Adesanya, who played a priest in Nigeria. Adesanya died in the hospital in 2017.
6- Drinking pepper soup is not a cure
In a video he shared with a preacher in Nigeria, he claimed that drinking pepper soup is good for coronavirus. This claim was also shared on WhatsApp groups.
There is no specific treatment for coronavirus yet. There is no scientific evidence that pepper soup heals in the claim. Mentioned is Nigeria’s widely consumed spicy soup.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the outbreak ’causes information pollution and false news outbreaks’.
There have also been allegations that a Brazilian doctor recommended fennel tea in Cape Verde in West Africa. From this rumor, everyone flocked to the market to buy fennel tea.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health also warned not to share news that fennel tea is good for coronavirus treatment.
The World Health Organization says regular hand washing is the most important measure to avoid infection.
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