Debunked: Facebook post claiming COVID-19 caused by bacteria aggravated by 5G technology is ‘curable’

August 11, 2020 - 12:26 PM
A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020. (NEXU Science Communication/via Reuters)

Filipinos urged a social media user to stop spreading “fake news” claiming that the COVID-19 is a “bacteria” that was supposedly aggravated by “5G electronic radiation” which could be curable.

On Sunday, a Facebook user shared a social media post in Filipino claiming that Italy’s Ministry of Health had reportedly figured out the mystery behind COVID-19.

The post claimed that it is not a virus but a “bacteria” that was supposedly aggravated by “5G electronic radiation.”

It added that Italian doctors made the discovery after they allegedly breached a protocol of the World Health Organization that corpses of people infected with the disease should be burned immediately.

But WHO said on Twitter that it does not have any protocol about cremation in context of death caused by communicable diseases and added that it is a “matter of cultural choice and available resources.”

The international health body said that people who have died from COVID-19 “can be buried or cremated” as long as safety measures are followed.

Meanwhile, the Facebook post claimed the Italian doctors had conducted an autopsy of an infected corpse and reportedly found out that it died due to “thrombosis” and “inflammation.”

It then purported that the disease could be cured by an “anti-coagulant, antibacterials, anti-inflammatories, 100 mg of aspirin and paracetamol.”

The post also claimed that there is supposedly no need to be confined in an intensive care unit or use ventilators.

Social media users who came across the post urged the uploader of the false post to refrain from spreading “fake news” while some proceeded to link various articles from news organizations that debunked some claims mentioned.

A cursory check of Interaksyon showed that a different version of the post packaged as “COVID-19 message” has been circulating on the social network site since July 17. Uploaders of this version were urged to pass the supposed message to others.

“Good news to everyone! Read and pass on your loved ones to spread the COVID-19 medicine message!” the false message read.

“This is a very important message to all conquerors and all readers of said message. Please pass to friends even all enemies,” its end note also reads.

Screenshot of the false message on COVID-19 cure. (Screenshot from Facebook/Gamboa Mhey)

What are the facts?

Reuters noted that COVID-19 is not caused by thrombosis, nor by bacteria. The disease is proven to be caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and not by a bacteria.

It added that while there are COVID-19 patients who have experienced thrombosis, it does not mean that it was the cause of the disease.

“The British Medical Journal (BMJ) states that doctors are seeing high rates of blood clots in patients who are seriously ill with COVID-19. It explains that ‘a covid patient’s blood is enormously sticky’ because the disease has increased the liver’s production of clotting factors,” the report said.

The international scientific community also denounced the claim that 5G technology or fifth-generation wireless network technology was involved in the pandemic.

BBC News quoted Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol, who said that it would be impossible for 5G technology to transmit the virus.

“The present epidemic is caused by a virus that is passed from one infected person to another. We know this is true. We even have the virus growing in our lab, obtained from a person with the illness. Viruses and electromagnetic waves that make mobile phones and internet connections work are different things,” he said.

Reuters likewise debunked the claim that COVID-19 can be cured by antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and anticoagulant pills.

It cited WHO that said the disease cannot be cured by antibiotics since it is caused by a virus and not by bacteria.

The report added that while some of COVID-19’s symptoms can be treated with anticoagulants and anti-inflammatories, it is not the end-all solution to the disease as there are no specific treatments developed for it yet.

Agence France-Presse likewise quoted the Italian Ministry of Health on its website dedicated to debunking hoaxes in relation to the disease:

“(Paracetamol) provides pain relief, which is very useful in case of high fever, but it does not cure coronavirus,” it said.

“As of June 4, 2020, the ministry maintains here that ‘there is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Treatment remains mainly based on a symptomatic approach, providing supportive therapies (e.g. oxygen therapy, fluid management) to infected people, which can nevertheless be highly effective,'” AFP noted.

“The WHO also states here that ‘there are currently no drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19,'” it added.