Six months after the coronavirus outbreak was declared an epidemic, false claims continue to circulate on social media.
Our latest round-up here is the most widely shared.
Claim: Before the outbreak, test kits for ‘Kovid-19’ were being exported.
Verdict: A database of worldwide shipments of chemical supplies made in 2020, but going back to 2015 cited their use for the “Kovid-19 kit”. The World Bank, one of the international organizations responsible for maintaining the list, says this was because these existing products are now being used for the Kovid-19 test. The website has now been changed and an explanation has been issued.
The claim on social media – a constant among the conspirators – is that it is evidence that the epidemic was planned, and the World Bank knew about it. This is wrong and we can sort out any doubt as to what is going on.
The screenshot being shared is genuine and contains trade information by country under the heading “COVID-19 Test Kit Export” in 2017. Other pages show years ago with similar data. So you can understand that there can be some confusion due to this.
According to the World Bank, the page was created in April 2020 to make it easier to find all the already existing products that are now being used for the Kovid-19 test.
All of the chemical products listed on the site have had other uses for years, but the World Bank says they were reclassified to make it easier to track items that are particularly important for dealing with coronoviruses.
From September 7, the title of the database was changed to “Medical Test Kit”, and includes a disclaimer to avoid further misunderstandings, stating that “pre-existing medical devices are tracked here, which Now it is important to deal with Kovid by the World Border Organization. -19. ”
Claims of a conspiracy have emerged on social media late last week and have since spread across multiple platforms and languages.
Although the allegations appeared almost simultaneously on Twitter and Facebook, they only gained traction after a video was published by a UK-based user on Facebook on September 5 indicating an alleged discrepancy in test kit data.
Links and screenshots of the database then spread more widely on Facebook and Twitter, and also appeared on Reddit, Instagram and WhatsApp.
The claims have also surpassed other languages including Dutch, Italian, German, Polish, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Hebrew.
Claim: Infrared thermometers cause brain damage
Verdict: false. These devices are not dangerous.
The sight of someone checking their temperature using a thermometer pointed at their forehead is quite common these days.
These thermometers record the temperature of a person by measuring infrared radiation from the surface of the body.
High temperature is a sign of possible coronavirus infection.
A video posted on YouTube with 2 million views incorrectly claims the process is dangerous. It is not and there is a simple explanation why.
The thermometer records infrared radiation coming from the body – the surface of all objects emits this type of radiation – but nothing is ejected onto the person.
The person presenting the video describes the concerns of an anonymous “Australian nurse”, and specifically refers to the potential damage to the pineal gland.
It is deep inside the brain and controls a hormone called melatonin. The man calls it “the realm of the entrance of the soul”.
But there is no way the pineal gland will be damaged or can be “targeted” by a thermometer.
Stafford Lightman, a professor of medicine at Bristol University, says, “They just pick up your infrared radiation. They’re not shooting anything.”
As for the claim that it is more safe and effective to measure temperature at the wrist, Pro Lightman states that it is not.
He explains that your organs become cold and the blood supply to the wrist – as opposed to the face – can be quite variable so it is not a good place to take a temperature.
Claim: Eating Lama meat may help fight coronavirus
Verdict: There is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
Ineffective and unproven Kovid-19 treatments have been avoided online since the beginning of the epidemic, and in some cases, they have also been promoted by prominent leaders.
This one however is new to us. One of the regional governors of Peru has suggested that eating lama and alpaca meat may help fight coronaviruses.
According to a Peruvian radio station, the governor cited the study as saying that lamas and alpacas carry antibodies, which could possibly be modified to develop the Kovid-19 treatment.
The BBC’s science team reported on this research some time ago, but these studies do not conclude that eating animal flesh can help a person to cope with the virus. Instead, scientists found that antibodies to a therapy could possibly be adapted to create a therapy for humans.
So far, the only drugs that have been proven to save lives in clinical trials are dexamethasone and hydrocortisone.
Claim: Arsenicum album, a homeopathic drug, may help prevent coronavirus
Verdict: There is no scientific evidence to support the use of this homeopathic medicine to protect against Kovid-19.
India’s Ministry of Alternative Medicine Aayush has promoted the use of a homeopathic medicine, Arsenicum album-30, claiming that it can help people cope with coronovirus.
However, there are no peer-reviewed scientific studies supporting its use as a preventive treatment for peer-19.
Recently, the Indian PTI News Agency reported that the western state of Gujarat had distributed the drug to more than half of the state’s population as a preventative treatment.
A top state health official said she believed in the drug’s “certain effectiveness” against coronaviruses, but acknowledged that “to really establish this, we need more rigorous analysis”.
There is no evidence that the drug is effective, either in the prevention or treatment of Kovid-19.
Additional reporting by Olga Robinson, Alistair Coleman and Upasana Bhat.
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