Rio de Janeiro, 22 May 2020 (AFP) – Here's a selection of the main AFP checks this week:
1 – "KIT COVID-19" DISTRIBUTED BY MAYOR IN PARÁ
A photo of a medication kit has been shared thousands of times on social media since last May 16, stating that it is being distributed by the Tucumã City Hall, municipality of Pará, to people with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19. Put in doubt by many users, the image does show the kit distributed by the city's Health Department, but there is still no official recommendation for the use of some medicines delivered.
2 – EX-MINISTER OF HEALTH FAILS TO PREVENT CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION MEASURES
A photo in which former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta greets the Governor of Pará, Helder Barbalho, both without protective masks, circulated widely on social media as if it had been taken during a meeting held on May 18 to debate strategies to combat the new coronavirus in the state. The photo is, however, from September 2019 – months before the disease was detected in China.
3 – SÃO PAULO METRO SQUAD DURING PANDEMIA?
A photograph shared thousands of times on social media since last May 14 shows a crowded subway platform, with people trying to get into the cars. The captions accompanying the publications refer – directly or indirectly – to the governor of São Paulo, João Doria, and to a decision to rotate vehicles amid the pandemic of COVID-19 which, according to reports, are having this effect. This image, however, was taken in December 2015.
4 – BOLDO TEA CURE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19
Publications shared thousands of times on social media since the beginning of May ensure that drinking boldo tea cures COVID-19 symptoms "in three hours". Experts consulted by AFP said, however, that no effective treatment against the new coronavirus is yet known. The Brazilian Ministry of Health reports, in turn, that no hot tea or drink fights the disease. In addition, consumption of this infusion in large quantities can pose risks.
5 – 5G, 4G, 3G: COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES CAUSE VIRAL EPIDEMICS
Publications relating several epidemics registered in the last 100 years with the launch of telecommunications technologies have been shared thousands of times on social networks, in multiple languages. However, health officials and technology experts say there is no direct relationship between the two elements.
6 – "PLANDEMIC" DOCUMENTARY FARSE COVID-19 SHOW
"Plandemic", a 26-minute documentary starring controversial researcher Judy Mikovits, has been shared thousands of times on social media since the end of April. The video, which is being deleted by YouTube and Facebook for violating its content standards, contains false and misleading claims related to the emergence and treatment of COVID-19.
7 – 5G ANTENNA OF CHINESE COMPANY IS BURNED IN ITALY
A video of a burning antenna recorded at night circulates on social media, ensuring that it is a 5G technology tower by the Chinese company Huawei set on fire in Italy. Although there was a fire in the northern city of La Spezia, it affected a tower of 4G and 3G transmitters by the Italian telecommunications company Wind Tre Mobile. In addition, there are no 5G towers in this location. The responsible authorities point to a possible short circuit.
8 – FRENCH INFECTOLOGIST SAYS CORONAVIRUS WAS CREATED BY THE USA AND CHINA
A message, shared thousands of times on Facebook since May 11, states that French infectologist Didier Raoult said that COVID-19 was created by the United States and China to cause more than 30 million deaths in Africa. Contacted by the AFP checking team, the Marseille University Hospital Institute, headed by Raoult, denied that the doctor made such a statement. In addition, scientists say the new coronavirus is of animal origin and was not created by man.