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THEJOURNAL.IE CAN ANNOUNCE that it has joined a worldwide network of factcheckers who are aiming to counter misinformation about Covid-19.
This project, called the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, comprises more than 100 factcheckers around the world and it is the largest collaborative factchecking project ever.
Ireland is one of a number of countries that has seen a huge amount of misinformation about the coronavirus, and TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck project has been debunking claims since the end of February.
Now we’ll be able to pool resources with other factchecking organisations, track false claims as they spread across other countries, access factchecks from newsrooms across the world, and have our factchecks published in other countries too.
That’ll mean suspect claims about the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs, the need to stockpile food and drinking water every 15 minutes will all be less likely to gain traction both here and abroad.
The network has already debunked over 1,200 claims, and you can check out our coronavirus factchecking partners on this Twitter list, or by searching the hashtag #CoronaVirusFacts.
But importantly, we still need our readers to alert us to any suspect claims they see about Covid-19 online.
If you’ve gotten a message on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter about coronavirus that you’re not sure about and want us to check it out, message or mail us and we’ll look into debunking it.
You can WhatsApp us on 085 221 4696, or send an email to [email protected].
FactCheck is the only Irish fact-checking resource independently audited and verified by the International Fact-Checking Network, which is co-ordinating this factchecking alliance. You can read the network’s code of principles here.
For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can also read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here.
The photo, which shows Defence Forces personnel on Hanover Quay in Dublin, has been shared on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter in the last six hours.
In some versions being shared on WhatsApp, the photo is accompanied by a text saying “LOCKDOWN”. In another version on Facebook, the caption on the photo says: “Army seting up camp on the quays. Is this going to be a complete lockdown?”
So, is this “going to be a complete lockdown”? The answer is no.
What is actually happening is that members of the Defence Forces set up a Covid-19 testing site on the banks of the River Liffey.
A number of tents were erected along Hanover Quay in the capital. They will be used to safely test people presenting with symptoms of coronavirus.
South Korea and the United States did indeed confirm their first cases of COVID-19 on the same day, Jan. 20, 2020. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the first South Korean case of COVID-19 was detected in a 35-year-old woman who had been living in Wuhan, China...That same day, a 35-year-old man who had recently returned to the United States from Wuhan, China, was also diagnosed with the disease.
Dolphins and swans were indeed spotted in some of Italy's waterways after the nationwide lockdown was imposed.
Dolphins and swans swimming in Italy's waterways were not necessarily new phenomena related to reduced human activity during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Our data consisted of 10 experimental conditions involving two viruses (SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1) in five environmental conditions (aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper, and cardboard).
SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces (Figure 1A), although the virus titer was greatly reduced (from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter of medium after 72 hours on plastic and from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter after 48 hours on stainless steel).
We found that the stability of SARS-CoV-2 was similar to that of SARS-CoV-1 under the experimental circumstances tested.
The findings suggested that Covid-19 could survive:
In aerosols for up to three hours
On cardboard for up to 24 hours
On plastic and stainless-steel surfaces for up to three days.
The authors specifically noted that Covid-19 can remain “viable and infectious” on surfaces for days. This echoed many of the findings the researchers had with SARS-CoV-1.
Unfortunately, the study did not look at how long the virus could survive on clothing and other surfaces.
The analysis of 22 studies reveals that human coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV) can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days, but can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62–71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute. Other biocidal agents such as 0.05–0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02% chlorhexidine digluconate are less effective.
A POST HAS been shared on Facebook claiming that onions can be used to “catch the cold & flu germs” and stave off Covid-19.
Apparently inspired by a practice in China, the claim is not true.
Onions are neither effective ways to prevent the coronavirus entering your home nor do they catch cold and flu germs.
As a sign of common this claim it, is has been debunked repeatedly down through the years. In 2015, fact-checking site Snopes wrote that there was no evidence to back up the claim:
"No scientific studies back it, and common sense rules it out: cold and flu viruses are spread by contact, not by their nasty microbes floating loosely in the air where the almighty onion can supposedly seek out and destroy them."
Back in 2009, the Wall Street Journal similarly pointed to the fact the claim had no basis in fact:
"Biologists say it’s highly implausible that onions could attract flu virus as a bug zapper traps flies. Viruses require a living host to replicate and can’t propel themselves out of a body and across a room."