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Fact Check: Did WHO Doctors Say That Coronavirus Just a Common Flu? Here’s the truth

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Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in China and several other countries, a video of few doctors has gone viral on social media claiming that the WHO has said Coronavirus is a common flu, and Corona patients need not be isolated nor quarantined.

The Facebook post reads: ब्रेकिंग न्यूज़: डबल्यू.एच.ओ ने अपनी गलती मानी पूरी तरह से यू-टर्न लेते हुए कहा है कि कोरोना एक सीजनल वायरस है यह मौसम बदलाव के दौरान होने वाला खांसी जुकाम गला दर्द है इससे घबराने की जरूरत नहीं। डब्ल्यू.एच.ओ अब कहता है कि कोरोना रोगी को न तो अलग रहने की जरूरत है और न ही जनता को सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग की जरूरत है। यह एक मरीज से दुसरे व्यक्ति में भी संचारित नहीं होता। देखिये WHO की प्रैस कांफ्रेंस….. Pls share it maximum. (English translation: Breaking news: WHO admitted its mistake and has taken a complete U-turn. They said that corona is a seasonal virus, it is a cough cold throat pain during climate change, no need to worry about it. WHO now says that Corona patient neither needs to stay isolated nor the public needs social distancing. It does not transmit from one patient to another. Watch WHO’s press conference….. Please share it maximum.)

Here’s the link to the above post.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the above post, and found it to be misleading.

Firstly, on the website of WHO there was no similar video featuring these doctors and this context. We also couldn’t find any information to support the claim on the WHO website.

On digging further, we found the same video on ACU (Außerparlamentarischer Corona- Untersuchungsausschuss) 2020, which is an extra-parliamentary Corona Investigation Committee. The video is of a panel of the World Doctors Alliance gathered in Berlin.

We also checked two major claims mentioned in the post.

Claim 1: COVID-19 is a normal Flu virus

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a difference between flu and COVID-19. It says, “Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) first identified in 2019. Flu is caused by infection with a flu virus (influenza viruses)

Also, an article by WHO Director-General, dated March 3, 2020, claims that the ‘Coronavirus is not SARS(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), it’s not MERS(Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome), and it’s not influenza. It is a unique virus with unique characteristics’.

Claim 2: No need to maintain social distancing

The WHO website urges people to ‘maintain at least a one-metre distance between yourself and others to reduce your risk of infection when they cough, sneeze or speak. Maintain an even greater distance between yourself and others when indoors. The further away, the better.”

Hence, it is clear that the claims in the video of world doctors attributed to WHO is false.

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