Covid-19 can be fatal and tests for it aren’t rigged

22 October 2021
What was claimed

Covid-19 is not killing people.

Our verdict

ONS figures show that since March 2020, over 128,000 people in England and Wales have died with Covid-19 listed as the underlying cause of death on the death certificate.

What was claimed

Covid-19 tests are rigged.

Our verdict

There are different types of tests for Covid-19 which should be used in different scenarios. PCR tests are considered to be highly accurate and reliable, particularly in symptomatic people.

What was claimed

Face masks are useless.

Our verdict

The guidance has changed throughout the pandemic, however current thinking is that face masks can play a useful role in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

What was claimed

Hand sanitiser is toxic.

Our verdict

Hand sanitiser shouldn’t be ingested or used incorrectly. However, when used appropriately, it is not poisonous.

What was claimed

Covid-19 vaccines are poison.

Our verdict

The NHS says that the Covid-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have “met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”.

A post on Facebook includes a number of false or misleading claims about Covid-19 deaths, tests, the vaccines, hand sanitisers and facemasks.

It is not true to say that “Covid-19 is not killing people” 

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, between 4 January and 8 October 2021 alone over 57,000 people died in England and Wales with Covid-19 listed as the underlying cause of death. Between March 2020 and August 2021, this figure was over 128,000. 

The underlying cause of death in this context means: “The disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death”. This is determined by a medical professional or coroner.

Deaths from Covid-19 are also categorised in other ways, such as where Covid-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate but is not pinpointed as the underlying cause of death or where a death has occurred within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test

We have written about deaths from Covid-19 many times before. 

It is not true that “Covid-19 tests are rigged”

We have written many times before about different types of tests for Covid-19. We have previously written about the fact that lateral flow tests have had a range of different results regarding how good they are at correctly identifying somebody with Covid-19, but that they are best at doing this when somebody is most infectious. We have also written about why testing things like cordial, fruit and ketchup will not produce an accurate result. 

We have also written about why PCR tests are very reliable, particularly in people who are symptomatic. The World Health Organisation, for example, says that they have “high accuracy”.

Face masks are not “useless” 

There has been changing advice on the use of face masks and coverings during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The current accepted thinking is that the use of facemasks can help to prevent the onward transmission of Covid-19, by reducing the spread of particles which may contain the virus. This means that they can ‘protect others’. 

Certain types of face masks (including FFP2/3 masks and others) can also protect the wearer.

Hand sanitiser is not “toxic” 

As we have previously written, hand sanitiser is dangerous if ingested or used incorrectly. 

If used properly on the skin, water and alcohol based hand sanitisers aren’t poisonous. 

Covid-19 vaccines are not “poison” 

There is no evidence to support this claim. The NHS says: “The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”.

We have written about many false claims about ingredients in the Covid-19 vaccines before

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because Covid-19 has and is causing deaths, Covid-19 tests aren’t rigged, hand sanitiser is not toxic, face masks can play a part in preventing the onward transmission of Covid-19, and Covid-19 vaccines are not poison.

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