Fight the Fakes official statement to COVID-19 and emerging reports of falsified treatments and rumours of cures
Fight the Fakes, along with the entire global health community is deeply concerned by the rapid global spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Among the public, there are increasing concerns about contracting the virus and medicine shortages related to the coronavirus outbreak, leading people to take matters into their own hands to treat and protect themselves.
These are ideal conditions for criminals to capitalize on people’s fears by advertising falsified treatments and vaccines and spreading rumours of potential cures. In Uganda, people were arrested for giving out fake coronavirus vaccines, and in Iran at least 44 people died from drinking toxic alcohol after a coronavirus cure rumour. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also already issued an official warning about companies selling fraudulent COVID-19 products.
There are currently no approved treatments, vaccines or cures for COVID-19.
Any offers advertising such medical products are deliberately fraudulent and should under no circumstances be purchased and consumed. Using products that have not been approved to treat COVID-19 without medical supervision poses a significant risk to patient’s well-being and safety.
Any misleading and deliberately fake information on COVID-19 circulating on social media and media has been described as an infodemic by the WHO.
Fight the Fakes is calling on all its members and the broader global health community to raise awareness of falsified medicines promising to treat, protect from or cure COVID-19.
We are no longer just fighting a virus, but now also an ever-growing infodemic.
For further advice and the most recent information, please visit WHO’s website and if you’re feeling sick, phone your doctor for advice and next steps.