COVID-19 debunked rumors and hoaxes

Some hoaxes and rumours that have circulated related to the COVID-19 pandemic: 

- Fit people are not immune to COVID-19

- No evidence flu vaccines make children more vulnerable to coronavirus infections

- Canadian children are not separated from parents if they have to quarantine due to COVID-19

- Face masks use does not lead to Legionnaires’ disease

- Misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccine spread by 'Plandemic' video. // New 'Plandemic' film promotes coronavirus conspiracy theory. //  'Plandemic' video peddles falsehoods about COVID-19.

- Bill Gates does not seek 'digital tatoos' for people tested for COVID-19 // nor did he say a vaccine could kill nearly one million people

- A flu shot will not make you test positive for COVID-19 // flu shots do not make people more vulnerable to infections // beware of misinformation on flu shot ingredients

- 5G technology did not create the novel coronavirus and viral outbreaks in the last 100 years are not aligned with the introduction of new telecommunications technologies and there is no evidence 5G radiation is harmful to human health and 5G mobile phones will not work off microchips secretly implanted under the skin by vaccination for COVID-19

- Senegalese children did not die from a coronavirus vaccine (which does not yet exist as of April 10, 2020) // neither did children in Guinea

misattributed 'advice:' Australia's coronavirus-tracing app // UK hospital // US Veterans Affairs hospital // Australian Department of Health // Singapore's health ministry // Nigeria // Philippine government // Philippine government about the civil service exam // India

Below is a complete list of coronavirus/COVID-19 rumors and hoaxes debunked by AFP Digital Verification the world over, starting with the most recent:

- The CDC in the US did not cut Covid-19 death toll by 94 percent. More here.

The World Health Organization has not been kicked out of Tanzania. More here.

Misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccine spread by ‘Plandemic’ video. More here.

Fake WHO document shared in anti-mask posts. More here.

Misleading claim circulates on Facebook about dangers of face masks alongside photos of skin conditions. More here.

New ‘Plandemic’ film promotes coronavirus conspiracy theory. More here.

Misleading claim circulates online about Philippine Health Department's guidelines for face shields. More here.

False claim circulates on Facebook that Australians 'will be fined if they discuss COVID-19 conspiracies'. More here.

Misleading claim circulates online that Singapore has 'banned' sale of US produce due to coronavirus. More here.

- Face mask use does not lead to Legionnaires’ disease. More here.

US far from reaching herd immunity for COVID-19. More here.

False claim circulates online that Australian government paid nursing homes to register deaths as caused by COVID-19. More here.

- Canadian children with COVID-19 symptoms can quarantine with a parent or guardian. More here.

Hoax circulates online that vaccines have caused deaths in the Philippines. More here.

Comments on coronavirus measures falsely attributed to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. More here.

False claim circulates online in the Philippines that Canada is ‘free’ of the novel coronavirus. More here.

Discredited scientific paper behind false claims on COVID-5G link. More here.

No evidence flu vaccines make children more vulnerable to coronavirus infections. More here.

- US health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci did not 'know' about effective coronavirus treatments in 2005. More here.

- False claim circulates on Facebook that 'viruses do not harm or kill' people. More here.

Tips on safe sex during COVID-19 pandemic misrepresented in Canadian Facebook post. More here.

The United States is not testing a COVID-19 vaccine on Ukrainian soldiers. More here.

 - Members of US Congress did not receive quarantine exemption for John Lewis’s funeral. More here.

Misleading claim circulates online comparing severity of COVID-19 with swine flu. More here.

Fit people are not immune to COVID-19. More here.

Social media posts misquote face mask advice from international health authorities and academics. More here.

Wearing a face mask does not put you at risk of developing pleurisy, health experts say. More here.

- New Zealand has not authorised troops to enter homes to enforce COVID-19 quarantine. More here.

- Hoax posts offer hazard pay to US pandemic workers. More here.

- Corpses infected with COVID-19 do not ge more infectious over time. More here.

- Holy communion has not been banned in Toronto. More here.

- Misleading claim circulates that the Philippines has cancelled school classes until 2021 due to COVId-19. More here.

- False claim circulates online that China is no longer hospitalising COVID-19 patients. More here.

- Nokia latest hit by Facebook scam claiming phone giveaway for students during the pandemic. More here.

- Fake police bulletin about 'face mask scam' circulates worldwide. More here.

- Mask misinformation spreads in the United States as cases spike. More here.

- Misleading claim circulates about the accuracy of COVID-19 tests in Australia. More here.

- List of unsubstantiated COVID-19 treatments circulates online. More here.

- Disgraced US researcher Judy Mikovits makes latest false claims about vaccine safety. More here.

- These 'virus removal cards' do not prevent COVID-19. More here

- Bill Gates does not plan to 'microchip the vaccine' to create 'virtual IDs.' More here.

- Phones are not being given out for pandemic education in Nigeria. More here.

- CDC did not add flu and pneumonia deaths to COVID-19 toll. More here.

- Map used to make misleading comparison of COVID-19 spread in US, Canada. More here.

- Hoax circulates about 'Latin translation' of COVID-19. More here.

- Rwanda leader Paul Kagame did not oppose WHO over virus tonic. More here.

- Israel has not reported zero deaths from COVID-19. More here.

- Fresh false claims about COVID-19 vaccine and 5G technology spread online in the Philippines. More here.

- Hoax circulates that India's capital region will be placed under new four-week lockdown. More here.

- Meme misleads on long-term effects of wearing a mask. More here.

- South Sudan leaders have not flown abroad for COVID-19 treatment. More here.

- Android users in Australia have not been automatically signed up to COVIDSafe app. More here.

- As US faces COVID-19 spike, outdated mask information spreads online. More here.

- Misinformation about reimposing strict COVID-19 lockdown in Metro Manila circulates online. More here.

- Nigerian government has not announced that schools will reopen on July 13. More here.

- Conspiracy theories circulate about 5G 'microchip implants.' More here.

- Myth circulates that Italy has discovered that COVID-19 is a bacteria, curable by paracetamol. More here.

- Misleading social media posts claim adverse health effects of face masks. More here.

- Taiwanese doctors have not discovered that COVID-19 is a 'combination of SARS and AIDS.' More here.

- Vaccines do not violate the Nurembert Code. More here.

- Coronavirus 'survival rates' remain unknown, experts say. More here.

- Misinformation circulates about Japan's plan to subsidize tourism after coronavirus lockdown is lifted. More here.

- US President Donald Trump did not offer Madagascar $2.5 million to develop its COVID-19 herbal remedy. More here.

- Italian politician spreads false claims about Bill Gates in parliament speeches. More here.

- Misleading claim circulates about coronavirus contact tracing app in New Zealand. More here.

- China and Japan have not re-entered national lockdowns because of COVID-19 (as of May 25). More here.

- UN has not conditioned humanitarian aid to Ecuador on the country legalizing abortions. More here.

- Hoax list of COVID-19 'safety guidelines' circulates in India. More here.

- Hoax government notice circulates in the Philippines about the civil service exam during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- Hoax circulates about new COVID-19 'law' in Western Australia. More here.

- Post falsely claims there were no US flu deaths during the COVID-19 crisis. More here.

- Gates Foundation targeted with misleading claims about India polio vaccine campaign. More here.

- Misinformation circulates about babies contracting Kawasaki disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- Hoax circulates that Australian $10 notes feature images of coronavirus and Bill Gates. More here.

- Nigeria did not impose a curfew to set up 5G masts; the curfew was aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus and 5G networks have not yet been set up in the country (as of May 21). More here.

- Wearing a mask is not mandatory in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- Misleading list showing viral outbreaks which purportedly originated in China from 1950 to 2019. More here.

- Fake 'roadmap' for India to relax coronavirus lockdown circulates online. More here.

- Misleading article warns against face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- US Vice President Mike Pence did not deliver empty boxes to a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- Bill Gates did not say that a COVID-19 vaccine could kill nearly a million people. More here.

- Misleading posts circulate about the effectiveness of face masks in the US. More here.

- Misleading claim that Thailand tops global index for COVID-19 response and has the lowest number of coronavirus cases. More here.

- African mistrust of Western vaccines threatens coronavirus fight. More here.

- Chilren in Guinea did not die from a COVID-19 vaccine (a vaccine does not exist for the disease as of May 18, 2020). More here.

- Bill Gates is not seeking 'digital tattoos' for people who have tested for COVID-19. More here.

- Ghana leader falsely claims his country fronts Africa's COVID-19 testing. More here.

- 'Plandemic' video peddles falsehoods about COVID-19. More here.

- US authorities have not cut the reported COVID-19 death toll. More here.

- Flu vaccines do not make people more vulnerable to infections. More here.

- Vegetarians are immune to COVID-19? It's a hoax. More here.

- Flu shot will not make you test positive for COVID-19. More here.

- Misinformation on US flu shot ingredients resurfaces during COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- Hoax message circulates about Australia's coronavirus contact-tracing app. More here.    

- Nobel laureate Tasuku Honjo refutes 'false' quote attributed to him about the novel coronavirus. More here.

- A New York funeral home employee was not accidentally cremated during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- Posts misrepresent eligibility for US COVID-19 stimulus payments. More here.

- Britain's first coronavirus vaccine volunteer has not died after the trial jab. More here.

- Pakistani plane did not transport Sri Lankan students home after COVID-19 lockdown. More here.

- Fake hiring phone numbers shared online in US as umeployment surges during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- COVID-19 symptoms do not progress in three distinct stages in all patients. More here.

- Misleading claim circulates online about Wuhan death toll after lockdown eased. More here.

- Coronavirus pandemic triggers wave of Islamic-themed myths on social media. More here.

- There is no evidence that 5G radiation is harmful to human health. More here.

- Children in Canada with COVID-19 are not admitted in hospitals alone; there is an exception for a parent or guardian for pediatric patients. More here.

- False advice on refusing vaccines circulates in US, Canada and Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- A 5G deal between the UK and the Chinese tech company Huawei has not been cancelled. More here.

- Misleading coronavirus information falsely attributed to Johns Hopkins, a leading source of information on COVID-19. More here.

- US President Donald Trump, much criticized over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, did not post this tweet about H1N1 crisis in 2009. More here.

- Children with COVID-19 in the US do not have to be hospitalized alone. More here.

- Hoax circulates that viral outbreaks are linked to new telecommunication technologies and that COVID-19 is linkd to the rollout of 5G. More here.

- China did not send COVID-19 vaccines to Burundi (a vaccine for the disease does not exist as of April 21). More here.

- The World Bank did not praise Tanzania's anti-coronavirus policies. More here.

- This pharmacist in India did not die of COVID-19-related violence. More here.

- Singapore did not fine people for not wearing face masks before April 14, when the masks were made mandatory in the city state. More here.

- The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend drinking alcohol to help prevent COVID-19, despite what a Kenya governor says. More here.

- Pet owners should not avoid touching their animals after using hand sanitiser. More here.

- Disposable surgical masks are not reversible. More here.

- Myth spreads online that Australian supermarkets have banned Chinese nationals during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is not alone in saying the drug hydroxychloroquine is unproven as treatment against COVIE-19. More here.

- Fake phone 'helplines' to track US stimulus payments greet callers with offers of phone sex. More here.

- Graphic doctored that quoted Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte saying that COVID-19 support payments have been competed. More here.

- Nigeria's ex-vice president didn't promise to pay citizens to stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak. More here.

- US Democrats did vote for legislation to combat the novel coronavirus crisis. More here.

- South Sudan's chief justice and his family have tested negative for COVID-19 (as of April 15). More here.

- India has not outlawed social media posts about COVID-19. More here.

- Misinformation in Thailand about police powers to fine people who fail to wear face masks in public. More here.

- An old Indian textbook does not list treatments for COVID-19. More here.

- A newspaper did not claim that an Indian Muslim leader donated to Indian PM's COVID-19 relief fund; the image of the front page has been doctored. More here.

- A recovered COVID-19 patient did not violate a home quarantine order in Sri Lanka. More here.

- Misinformation circulates about Malaysia's coronavirus relief package for its citizens. More here.

- False 'facts' on US Postal Service finances resurface amid disputre over funding to help it through the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- Senegalese children did not die from a novel coronavirus vaccine (which as of April 10, 2020, does not yet exist). More here.

- The World Health Organization (WHO) did not issue this 'protocol' for COVID-19 lockdown. More here.

- Beijing and Shanghai have not been 'untouched' by COVID-19. More here.

- Nigeria did not spend 1 billion naira on a COVID-19 text message awareness campaign. More here.

- South Africa's leader did not ask foreigners to leave the country due to COVID-19. More here.

- A Philippine hospital did not find a correlation between grocery shopping and COVID-19 among its patients. More here.

- This non-profit hospital in Pakistan said it did not charged patients for COVID-19 tests. More here.

- Britain's Queen Elizabeth did not mention the Philippines in her speech on the novel coronavirus. More here.

- An UAE sultan in Sharjah did not ban the burial of COVID-19 victims. More here.

- A French doctor did not urge Africans to avoid taking "Bill Gates vaccine" against the novel coronavirus. More here.

- This Sri Lankan spice manufacturer has used this logo since 2007; it is not a logo of a political party that was printed in COVID-19 ration kits. More here.

- Nigerian health authority denounces fake social media accounts that have sprung up during the coronavirus pandemic. More here.

- These Muslims at a mosque in Sri Lanka did not react violently when authorities told them their gathering was in violation of the country's coronavirus curfew. More here.

- US billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates did not issue this "open letter" about the novel coronavirus pandemic. More here.

- No evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through fruits and vegetables. More here.

- Funerals for COVID-19 victims are not banned in Pakistan (as of April 8). More here.

- Misleading claims that purport to compare lockdown measures and status of the pandemic  in Asian countries including South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. More here

- The CEOs of these companies did not resign during the novel coronavirus crisis. More here.

- This South African hospital did not find COVID-19 on fresh produce. More here.

- This is not a 19th century poem about self-isolation, it was written specifically about the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

- The Nigerian leader has not tested positive for the coronavirus (as of April 6), this CNN broadcast has been doctored. More here.

- The Indian government has not banned coronavirus-related posts on social media. More here.

- 5G wireless technology did not create the novel coronavirus -- it is based on radio frequency, which does not create viruses. More here.

- The global environmental movement Extinction Rebellion did not issue a poster saying that "Corona is the cure, humans are the disease." More here.

- A new vaccine and a new drug have not been developed to treat the novel coronavirus, as claimed by multiple posts in Asia (as of April 3). More here.

- Singapore is not spot fining people violating social distancing orders. More here.

- Ventilators are not "stuck" in a New York warehouse, NY authorities are stockpiling supplies and those in the photo were sent to hospitals within 24 hours of arriving at the facility. More here.

- Ethiopia has not approved traditional medicine to treat COVID-19. More here.

- The US has not arrested a Chinese scientist who "created" the novel coronavirus. More here.

- The World Health Organization (WHO) did not warn against eating cabbage during the novel coronavirus pandemic. More here.

- An ice rink outside of the city of Adelaide in Australia has not been turned into a morgue (as of April 2). More here.

- People with pre-existing respiratory conditions will not receive a "rescue pack" of medicatin from their doctors in Australia unless previously prescribed. More here.

- Calling this numer will not get you food aid in the US during the novel coronavirus pandemic, as unemployment soars. More here.

- Facilities at a Sri Lankan military hospital will be open to all COVID-19 patients, not just "VIPs." More here.

- US President Donald Trump and presidential candidate Joe Biden did not declare "people are dying that have never died before." The phrase can be traced to famed US authori Ernest Hemingway. More here.

- Thai police cannot fine people for not wearing face masks. More here.

- There is no US patent on the novel coronavirus and no European one for a vaccine (as of April 1). More here.

- China and Japan are not 'free' of COVID-19 (as of April 2, 2020). More here.

- There is no 'new virus' named hantavirus that has emerged in China. More here.

- Singapore General Hospital will temporarily use its car park to test suspected COVID-19 patients, not as a ward. More here.

- China sent medical supplies, not doctors, to Malaysia to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic More here.

- Claims that 59 church members in South Africa died after drinking household disinfectant to prevent novel coronavirus infections are a hoax -- they are based on an old story. More here.

- An Australian supermarket worker has not tested positive for the novel coronavirus in New South Wales suburb (as of April 1, 2020). More here.

- Britain's Queen Elizabeth has not tested positive for the novel coronavirus (as of March 31, 2020) More here.

- Thailand's emergency decree to combat COVID-19 did not include a curfew (as of March 31, 2020). More here.

- The World Health Organization (WHO) has not increased Thailand's 'pandemic level' for COVID-19 (as of March 30, 2020). More here.

- Singapore's Ministry of Health did not issue these COVID-19 'guidelines.' More here.

- Australian authorities did not issue a warning that using petrol pumps can spread the novel coronavirus. More here.

- Iconic coffee chain Tim Hortons will not close all Canada franchises because of the novel coronavirus. Drive-throughs remain open (as os March 30, 2020). More here.

- Claims circulated on US social media outlining Canada's purported response to the coronavirus outbreak are misleading. More here.

- South Africa has not announced a date that schools will re-open (as of March 29, 2020). More here.

- Nigeria is not paying citizens to stay at home during the novel coronavirus crisis. More here.

- Sri Lanka and the Philippines are not spraying disinfectant over homes from helicopters to kill off the coronavirus. More here.

- Philippines' president did not approve a payment to all recipients of the country's social security system to help them through the novel coronavirus crisis. More here.

- A UK hospital did not issue this notice to its medical staff on how to prevent infection by the novel coronavirus and the notice contains several false claims that AFP FactCheck has already debunked. More here.

- A bank in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi did not close and no employee has tested positive for COVID-19. More here.

- Fruit and vetable markets in the Indian city of Chennai and across the state of Tamil Nadu have not been ordered to close to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. More here.

- Ugandan and Kenyan authorities have not instructed landlords to stop collecting rent due to the novel coronavirus crisis. More here.

- COVID-19 is not projected to kill up to 45 million people in Nigeria, as claimed in a WhatsApp message. More here.

- Australian authorities did not issue a notice saying people could receive free home visits from doctors during the novel coronavirus pandemic. More here.

- This infographic does not show the nine-day timeline of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus, the information here is misleading. More here.

- A factory in the Australian city of Melbourne has not been hoarding essential supplies including baby formula, toilet paper and hand sanitizer for export to China. More here.

- India has not issued an advisory that a disinfectant will be sprayed into the air overnight in an effort to kill the novel coronavirus. More here.

- Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo has not said that bats are the "enemy" in the novel coronavirus pandemic. More here.

- Israel has not developed a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (as of March 20). More here.

- UNHCR did not issue a notice claiming that "migrants and illegals" in Malaysia were resisting testing for the novel coronavirus. More here.

- 15 coronavirus cases were not linked to Burnaby's Metrotown mall in Canada's British Columbia (as of March 20). More here.

- Consumers cannot claim a free case of baby formula if they call the relevant manufacturer. More here.

- The Indian government is not distributing free face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here

- COVID-19 did not exist before 2019. More here.

- Australia was not planning to announce a nationwide "shut down" from March 18. More here.

- The Philippine Department of Health did not issue an advisory that people who have had contact with those infected with the novel coronavirus would be turned away from doctors' clinics. More here

- Major disease outbreaks are not tied to US election years. More here.

- Uganda's president did not postpone elections because of coronavirus. More here.

- Israel has not developed a "cure" for COVIC-19. More here.

- Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is not planning to turn his hotels in Portugal into hospitals for novel coronavirus patients. More here

- COVID-19 is not part of a pattern in which viral outbreaks occur every 100 years. More here.

- 811 is not an official public health hotline in Ontario and the provincial ministry of health is not organizing home visits. More here.

- Costco has not issued a recall for bath tissue because it was infected with the novel coronavirus. More here

- An employer did not cover up a part of a poster on novel coronavirus prevention that advised sick employees to stay home. More here

- A Philippine government advisory did not list shopping malls and hotels that the Department of Health advised against visiting. More here.

- That's not a magnified photo of the novel coronavirus you're looking at. It's a weevil. More here.

- Donating blood in the US does not get you a novel coronavirus test. More here

- Philippine authorities did not confiscate fake cigarettes that were spreading the novel coronavirus. More here.

- A European brothel has not been put under quarantine. More here.

- Indonesia has not issued its citizens free air tickets to return home after coronavirus outbreak. More here.

- UNICEF has not released coronavirus prevention guidelines. More here.

- The Vatican did not disclose that Pope Francis had been infected with the novel coronavirus; the pontiff was suffering from a cold. More here

- Israeli scientists had not developed a COVID-19 vaccine by early March. More here

- All international arrivals were not cancelled at an airport in Karachi in February 2020 over the novel coronavirus. More here

- The novel coronavirus differs from and is more deadly than the human coronaviruses that can cause a cold, contrary to a claim made by conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh. More here.

- A taxi driver in Nigeria did not threaten to spread the novel coronavirus all over the country. More here.

- Russia's Ministry of Health did not say in a document that the novel coronavirus was man-made. More here.

- China-made Holi festival goods are not infected with the novel coronavirus. More here.

- This map does not show elevated sulphur dioxide levels in Wuhan, China that could be evidence of mass cremation in and around the city. More here.

- A doctor's office in new South Wales in Australia was not visited by people exposed to the novel coronavirus by February 20, 2020. More here.

- Israel has not sent a vaccine to "cure" novel coronavirus patients in Wuhan, as of mid-March 2020, no vaccine for the virus had been developed. More here.

- The Philippines did not issue a warning after a Chinese national from the city of Wuhan escaped quarantine at an airport; the story was a hoax. More here.

- The Philippine government did not give out free face masks following the novel coronavirus outbreak. More here.

- This map does not show the movement of residents from Wuhan, China, the origin of the novel coronavirus outbreak; it shows flight paths worldwide. More here.

- An Australian couple who were quarantined on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan did not have wine delivered to them by a drone. More here.

- Treatment by Thai doctors was not a "cure" for COVID-19. More here.

- A doctor in the Purnea district of the east Indian state of Bihar did not identify a novel coronavirus patient in early February. More here.

- The World Health Organization did not choose COVID-19 as the name for the disease that the novel coronavirus causes because it stands for "China Outbreak Virus in December 19;" the name is an abbreviation of "coronavirus disease 2019." More here.

- Black people are not more resistant to the novel coronavirus. More here.

- China did not seek approval from its Supreme Court to euthanize 20,000 patients in an effort to curb the growing novel coronavirus epidemic. More here.

- Lysol product labels are not evidence of a novel coronavirus conspiracy. More here.

- The cleaner Detool did not test its products on the novel coronavirus before the global outbreak. More here.

- Chinese 'spies' did not steal the novel coronavirus from Canada. More here.

- The novel coronavirus is not a type of rabies. More here.

- Doctors have not projected that 11 million people quarantined in Wuhan, China will die from the novel coronavirus. More here.

- The novel coronavirus was not created by a US government agency. More here.