Covid-19 in Africa: fake news about coronavirus

See our library of fact-checks below.

To combat what the World Health Organization has called an “infodemic” around Covid-19, BBC News Africa has launched a searchable library of fact-checks debunking popular myths and misinformation about coronavirus in Africa.

A Kenyan politician made this false claim to explain why cognac was included in relief packages for some Nairobi residents.

Claim rating: FALSE

No evidence coronavirus lasts up to a month on surfaces

  • Spread

There is no evidence that coronavirus can survive on surfaces for up to one month if they are not cleaned properly.

Claim rating: NO EVIDENCE

This South Sudanese minister did NOT die from coronavirus

South Sudan's Minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr Martin Elia Lomuro
  • Hoaxes
  • Public authorities

South Sudan’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs came out to deny he had died from coronavirus

Claim rating: FALSE

Inhaling steam does NOT cure coronavirus

Graphic showing a nose with steam going into it, with an X in the background
  • Cures
  • Myths

Inhaling very hot steam does not cure Covid-19 and could be harmful, according to health experts.

Claim rating: FALSE

Putting disinfectant into your body will NOT protect you from Covid-19 and can be dangerous

US President Donald Trump
  • Prevention

President Trump’s suggestion this might help treat Covid-19 is false and has been widely denounced by medical experts.

Claim rating: FALSE

Applying menthol gel to the nostrils or drinking hot water do NOT prevent coronavirus9 April 2020

  • Prevention

This is what Guinea’s President Alpha Condé recommended but it is not backed by any scientific evidence.

Claim rating: FALSE

Home-made hand sanitisers made with vodka do NOT prevent Covid-19

  • Prevention

Home-made hand sanitiser recipes using vodka do not contain enough alcohol to kill the virus.

Claim rating: FALSE

There’s NO evidence the BCG vaccine protects against coronavirus

Baby crying as it's given the BCG jab
  • Prevention
  • Myths

The World Health Organization

Blue facemasks are NOT contaminated

A male surgeon wearing a blue mask
  • Spread

Social posts urging Africans not to wear blue masks contain fabricated quotes from public figures and are false.

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