Are Northern Ireland retailers covering up non-essential items from sale?

CLAIM: Social media posts are circulating showing supermarket shelves that have been covered over or taped off to prevent customers purchasing certain items. Reference is made to this happening in Belfast and Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. At the time of writing, Wales is the only part of the UK that has restricted the sale of non-essential items in supermarkets. There is no indication that this model of restriction will be introduced in Northern Ireland. Continue reading Are Northern Ireland retailers covering up non-essential items from sale?

Can a medicinal tea ‘help with’ COVID-19?

CLAIM: Online articles continue to circulate with claims of the curing properties of tea. Basile ‘G-Star’ Sery told a newspaper reporter that “Coronavirus is mucus blocking the oxygen supply and [his] tea can flush out the mucus” and “help with coronavirus”.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. There is no evidence of tea curing or alleviating the symptoms of COVID-19. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, there are no medicines that have yet been shown to prevent or cure COVID-19.  Continue reading Can a medicinal tea ‘help with’ COVID-19?

Can you generate a positive result for COVID-19 from an RT-PCR test?

CLAIMS:

    1. A high number of amplification cycles used in an RT-PCR test will lead to a positive diagnosis of COVID-19
    2. Kary Mullis, inventor of the PCR technique, said that the RT-PCR “can not be used to diagnose infectious diseases at all”
    3. Kary Mullis was opposed to RT-PCR testing being used to test for COVID-19 before his death

CONCLUSION: All of these claims are INACCURATE. Continue reading Can you generate a positive result for COVID-19 from an RT-PCR test?

Is there 90% compliance with wearing face coverings in retail settings in Northern Ireland?

CLAIM: At a Northern Ireland Policing Board meeting, the PSNI’s Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said that there was 90% compliance with people wearing face coverings in retail settings.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. Constable Alan Todd has clarified that this figure was an estimate.

Continue reading Is there 90% compliance with wearing face coverings in retail settings in Northern Ireland?

Did 33 people die by suicide during the first week of September 2020 in Northern Ireland?

CLAIM: 33 people died by suicide during the first week of September in Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. There are no official statistics or evidence to support the claim that 33 people died by suicide in Northern Ireland (or any specific area of it) during the first week of September 2020. Continue reading Did 33 people die by suicide during the first week of September 2020 in Northern Ireland?