Coronavirus: Protecting badges and hashish claims fact-checked

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Social media is awash with posts containing faux and deceptive details about the coronavirus pandemic.

We have been fact-checking a few of these claims most generally shared this week.

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Members of the Russian parliament have been noticed carrying badges that declare to guard the wearer from coronavirus.

Bogus ‘protecting’ badges

So-called “protecting” badges which thrust back viruses are being offered around the globe.

Among the badges, that includes a white cross design, seem like of the kind falsely marketed as “virus stoppers” in Russia. Some members of the Russian parliament wore them at a current assembly of the State Duma.

Nonetheless, the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) says the substance launched by such badges – the bleaching agent chlorine dioxide – is dangerous. It says claims that it helps shield towards Covid-19 are “fraudulent”.

BBC Information Russian requested MP Andrei Svintsov why he wore a “virus blocker” badge. He replied that he did not know whether or not it labored or not, however he hasn’t fallen ailing but.

“I’ve chewed ginger, and I am taking Vitamin C. All of the garbage that they are saying on the web, I am utilizing all that. Simply in case.”

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has been seen carrying the same product, however final week Mr Peskov confirmed he had been identified with coronavirus and is at the moment in hospital.

Dr Wayne Carter, a biochemist and Affiliate Professor at Nottingham College mentioned the badges couldn’t stop coronavirus which is “primarily unfold in droplets from sneezes… which are inhaled (or probably ingested) – and that may provoke an infection”.

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It is too early to attract any conclusions about hashish being efficient

Hashish therapy

Hundreds of individuals have shared articles referencing hashish as a therapy for coronavirus, however a number of the headlines have been deceptive.

It is true that there are a number of trials happening worldwide, together with in Canada, Israel and the UK, investigating whether or not hashish may very well be helpful as a therapy.

Medicinal hashish has been shown to reduce inflammation and so might, doubtlessly, be used to deal with “cytokine storms” – the damaging immune response generally seen within the sickest Covid-19 sufferers.

However these trials are at a really early stage, so it is too quickly to attract any conclusions about whether or not hashish will show an efficient therapy towards coronavirus.

One of many articles a couple of Canadian examine has been flagged on Fb for holding partly false data. An writer of this analysis even instructed the PolitiFact web site that the headline claiming hashish might cease the virus from infecting individuals was “an overstatement.”

The potential for hashish to deal with varied situations has attracted specific consideration lately, with blended proof.

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Virus origin hypothesis

Hypothesis about the place the brand new coronavirus first emerged has been rampant on-line.

We checked out a current video from a Chinese language state media outlet which suggests simply because the virus was first reported in China, it does not imply that the virus originated there.

The video references an Italian scientist’s feedback in a US radio interview about unexplained pneumonia circumstances in northern Italy in November. The narrator says this “might imply the virus was circulating in components of Italy earlier than the outbreak in China”.

“Since early Might, China has been more and more ramping up the rhetoric suggesting that the virus won’t have originated within the nation,” says Kerry Allen, the BBC’s China Media Analyst.

There’s at the moment no scientific foundation for this concept.

You possibly can date and pin down the supply of the coronavirus by monitoring its genetic data and the way it has mutated over time.

Dr Emma Hodcroft, a molecular epidemiologist on the College of Basel, says it is clear that samples of the virus within the US and Europe may be linked again to the unique genetic sequencing in China – however these variations have extra mutations as a result of they emerged later.

“In brief, there’s completely no genetic proof that helps an alternative choice to the virus originating in China,” says Dr Hodcroft.

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There was a surge of deaths from coronavirus reported in Yemen

‘Mass execution’ declare

Earlier this week, the Yemeni Minister of Info, Moammar al-Eryani, claimed on Twitter that there are “scores of reviews” of mass executions of suspected Covid-19 sufferers in rebel-controlled areas.

He alleged that the killings have been generally carried out with out the sufferers being correctly identified.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have denied claims they’ve been executing suspected coronavirus sufferers with deadly injections.

A authorities spokesman referred to as for an investigation into the mass execution claims.

The Houthis have been combating the internationally-recognised authorities for 5 years, and either side have accused the opposite of utilizing propaganda ways.

The Houthis have mentioned the rumours are the results of a cast doc from “the Saudi-US-Zionist alliance of aggression towards Yemen” – a reference to the Saudi-led army coalition which has been supporting the federal government towards the Houthis.

We won’t resolve the cast doc claims, however no proof has surfaced to help the accusations about mass executions of coronavirus sufferers.

Greater than 100,000 individuals have died within the civil conflict, and illness and malnutrition are widespread.

Extra reporting by Alistair Coleman, Olga Robinson, Rachel Schraer and Vitaliy Shevchenko.

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