A widely shared social media post claims thatIsrael has reported zero COVID-19 deaths because they have found the cure tothe disease. The post goes on to say that drinking a mixture of lemon and baking sodaas hot tea can kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. The COVID-19 statusof each country is available on the WHO website. According to the situation reportas on 19 April 2020, Israel reported 158 deaths due to COVID-19. In fact, Israel reportedits first COVID-19 death on 20 March 2020. So, it is not true that Israel has nothad any COVID-19 fatalities. Also, there was no information about the mixture of lemonand baking soda killing the novel coronavirus. The WHO website says that ‘while some western,traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms ofCOVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease’.We at Factly already debunked a similar message which claimed that alkaline foodscan kill the virus. All this means that this post is fake.
♪ ♪ Around the world, misinformation about coronavirusis spreading faster than the disease itself. Take Indonesia where a cure was being pushed. Facebook posts told people to drink waterwith boiled garlic. Claiming a coronavirus patient who did, recoveredovernight. It’s false. I’m Ika Ningtya, a journalist with Indonesian fact-checking site Tempo. I interviewed a microbiology researcher, heexplained the information is a hoax. In Spain, a pretty convincing video startedmaking the rounds. It claims to show where the virus originated. A market in Wuhan, China – full of liveand dead animals. No, es un bulo — It’s a hoax. I’m Clara Jimenez Cruz and I’m the founder of Maldita Puto Es. A fact-checking organization based in Spain. We found a sign that said it was a marketwith a name. What we did was that we Googled it and foundout that it was in Indonesia This happens often with misinformation. Old Images tweaked to make it seem as if they’renew. Or they’re taken out of context. That’s what we saw in India. With a shocking video. It shows a larva being removed from someone’smouth. And the caption suggests this is coronavirus. That’s incorrect. I’m Anmol Alphonso and I’m a fact-checkerwith Boom. We received this gruesome video on a WhatsApphelpline number after which we decided to break this videodown into keyframes and do a reverse image search. That showed that this video was from October2019. Two months before the first case ofCoronavirus was reported in China. The video that Alphonso debunked might seemcrude and unbelievable. But by using fear to fill in the gaps, itgets thousands of views. And in the US, the false information getseven scarier. A website claiming “covert intelligence sources” says millions are infected and more than 100,000 have died. No, that number has been grossly exaggerated. I’m Ryan Cooper, a fact-checker at LeadStories. We spotted the story in our Trendalyzer engine,which is a proprietary tool which can detect trends from hundreds of known fake news websites. Cooper debunked the numbers as wellas the credibility of the intelligence sources in this story. But he knows why something like this can beappealing. If people want to believe something is truein this case, that there’s some sort of cover-up or conspiracy theorythey’re going to believe it due to confirmation bias. So why spread false information like this? Well, sometimes people actually believe thatit’s true. In other cases, they may be trying to makemoney off advertising or they’re trying to push a political agenda. Fact-checkers around the world are discoveringjust like a real virus sometimes, despite best efforts, as one casedies down, another crops up. Andrea Bellemare, CBC News, Toronto.