Claim: 4 claims about COVID-19 and treatment protocols
Source: WhatsApp message
Verdict: 4 CLAIMS FALSE
Researched by Gifty Tracy Aminu
A message circulating on WhatsApp FALSELY claims COVID-19 has been discovered not to be a virus but rather a bacterium after an autopsy was performed on the corpse of a COVID-19 victim.
The message that has been tagged by WhatsApp as “forwarded” said the post-mortem examination also showed that COVID-19 causes a blood clot in the vein and that aspirin is an effective medication for treating the coronavirus disease.
The WhatsApp message is being attributed to Singapore’s Ministry of Health.
This fact-check report will seek to verify 4 claims which include:
- Whether Singapore is the source of the WhatsApp message?
- Whether COVID-19 is not a virus, but rather a bacterium?
- Whether Singapore has sanctioned changes to WHO treatment protocols for the virus including using aspirin to treat the disease?
- Whether there will be no need for using ventilators and an intensive care unit (ICU) in treating COVID-19 if suggested medication is used?
The Ministry of Health, Singapore has denied being the source of the WhatsApp message and debunked its claims.
“We are aware of a message circulating that Singapore has performed an autopsy on a COVID-19 patient and alleged changes in treatment protocols. The content was attributed to the Ministry of Health Singapore. This is NOT true.” A statement published on the Health Ministry’s website has said.
According to the ministry, Singapore has not performed such an autopsy as claimed in the message and that “the message states false information concerning the pathophysiology of COVID-19 infection which is not borne out by current evidence.”
However, GhanaFact has observed that the same message has been tweaked and attributed to Russia’s Ministry of Health, further raising doubts about its authenticity.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Tatyana Golikova said in December 2020 that all COVID-19 deaths, barring religious exceptions, are subject to this post-mortem analysis. “We have autopsies in 100% of cases throughout the country, with some exceptions for religious reasons. In the case of infectious diseases – and coronavirus is seen as an especially infectious disease – we have autopsies in 100% of cases.” She is quoted to have said by Reuters Fact-Check.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that performing autopsies on people who have died of COVID-19 is not in violation of any WHO protocol. In September 2020, the WHO released guidelines for how medical professionals can safely perform autopsies on those who died because of COVID-19.
“An earlier version of this circular message, which mentioned Russia instead of Singapore, has also been exposed as untruth.” Singapore’s Health Ministry stated.
The claim is FALSE.
After assessing the message, the World Health Organization’s Africa Infodemic Response Alliance (AIRA) secretariat said the claim is False. “COVID-19 is real. Nearly 4 million people, including nearly 90,000 people in Africa, have died of this virus so far,” WHO said.
According to the United Nations specialised agency responsible for international public health, the COVID-19 disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which spreads between people in several different ways. The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols.
The Russian Ministry of Health website characterizes COVID-19 as a “virus” and advises citizens to only trust information “posted on the websites of Stopcoronavirus of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Health of Russia, Rospotrebnadzor and the World Health Organization.”
This claim is also rated FALSE.
“Aspirin is not an effective treatment for COVID-19 and people suffering from severe bouts of the virus often need to be put on ventilators while in emergency care.” The World Health Organization, Africa Infodemic Response Alliance (AIRA) has said.
While some patients can be treated at home, those who have chest pain, fast or difficulty breathing (at rest or while speaking), a fast heart rate or any other emergency signs would have to seek care in a hospital. “They may require supplemental oxygen or intensive care, depending on their need,” WHO said.
According to the US National Institute of Health, approximately 2.5% of patients need mechanical ventilation while their body fights the infection. “Once COVID-19 patients reach the point of critical illness where ventilation is necessary, they tend to deteriorate quickly”
“A ventilator has the lifesaving task of supporting the lungs. These machines can provide air with an elevated oxygen content and create pressure in your lungs to assist with breathing. They also help clear away carbon dioxide and rebalance your blood’s pH levels.” A team of medical experts at Healthline, a platform that produces health and wellness information have said.
The two claims are FALSE.