Merlion, patung ikonik Singapura, pada tanggal 24 Januari 2019. ( AFP / Theodore Lim)

Old photos circulate in false posts about monkeypox outbreak in Singapore

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Two photos have been shared in multiple posts on Facebook alongside a claim they show people infected with monkeypox in Singapore. The posts go on to claim there has been a new outbreak of monkeypox in 2021. The claim is false: the photos have circulated online in reports about monkeypox in Nigeria since at least 2018. There have been no official reports of a monkeypox outbreak in Singapore as of July 13, 2021. 

A screenshot of an online report was shared in this Facebook post on May 15, 2021.

Screenshot of the misleading post taken on June 29, 2021

The screenshot shows an Indonesian-language caption that translates to English as: “Be Careful Monkeypox has already entered Batam.”

Batam is an Indonesian island close to Singapore.

The photo was also shared with a similar claim by Facebook users in Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian languages.

The claim, however, is false.

The report shown in the misleading posts is from 2019.

The report shown in the screenshot is headlined: “Man Tests Positive For Monkeypox in Singapore, 23 People Quarantined For 21 Days”. 

It was published here by Malaysia-based news website World of Buzz on May 10, 2019. 

The monkeypox case in Singapore was also reported here by the city-based media outlet Channel NewsAsia on May 9, 2019. 

Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) told AFP on June 29, 2021: “There have been no confirmed cases of monkeypox notified to MOH since the previous imported case in 2019.” 

MOH monitors infectious diseases in the city-state here.

Old images

One of the photos, which shows a person's feet, was used as an illustration in this report about monkeypox in Nigeria. It was published by US-based media outlet Face2Face Africa on March 17, 2018.

The other photo, which shows a person's hand, appeared in this article published by the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal in June 2018.  

It is titled: “Reemergence of Human Monkeypox in Nigeria, 2017”.

The photo’s caption reads: “Papulopustular rash on hand (A) ... of patient with monkeypox.”

AFP debunked misleading posts about a monkeypox case in Singapore in 2019.