CLAIM: Northern Ireland is one of the most “locked-down” places in the world.
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. According to a “Government Stringency Index”, the UK has one of the strictest lockdown policies in the world, but the Northern Ireland Executive’s response is not the strictest within the UK. Continue reading Is Northern Ireland one of the most locked-down places in the world?
CLAIM: There have been just 113 COVID-19 deaths in all.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. At face value, the figure is contradicted by other evidence and ignores or misunderstands comorbidity and causes of death. Data shows that by the end of September 2020, COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death for 808 deaths (89.6%) of the 902 COVID-19-related deaths registered. Continue reading Just 113 COVID-19 deaths in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic?
In the afternoon briefing on Wednesday, 10 February 2021, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, commented that the COVID-19 restrictions have “most certainly also had an impact on other viruses that we normally see at this time of year” (7:17 from start).
Dr McBride added: “This winter, as yet, there have been no outbreaks of flu; no outbreaks of norovirus, the winter vomiting bug; and no outbreaks of RSV, the respiratory illness that affects our children so badly each winter …” Continue reading Seasonal flu and COVID
A video recently shared on Facebook made the claim (at 05:39): “[The] problem with PCR [testing] is that it’s something of a haystack creator in the search for the needle that should be very obvious.” Continue reading How does a RT-PCR test for COVID-19 work?
CLAIM: The murder rate in Belfast was sixth highest in a list of cities in Europe (according to 2010 data).
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Available data shows other cities with higher homicide rates. Data for some other cities was not and is not published. By any reasonable definition, homicide rates in Belfast are not among the highest in Europe today. Continue reading Was Belfast the sixth highest in murder rate for a European city in 2010?
Recent events in Northern Ireland have raised the issue of how COVID-19 vaccines may impact fertility and/or pregnancy. Health Minister Robin Swann told the Stormont health committee on 14 January 2021, that an anti-vaccination group targeted young female healthcare staff outside vaccination centres, saying COVID-19 vaccination would affect their fertility. He added that this message was “quite negative, quite wrong, potentially quite damaging”. This was also reported in the local media. Continue reading COVID-19 vaccinations: fertility and pregnancy