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?
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
CLAIM: There is a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 in Northern Ireland dying in a motorcycle collision than being affected by COVID-19.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Data shows that there have been no motorcyclists of Sammy Wilson MP’s age who have died as a result of a motorcycle collision in Northern Ireland, in the past three years. In 2020, there were 157 deaths registered related to COVID-19, of men aged 65–74. At the time of this claim, the probability of being infected by COVID-19 in Northern Ireland was an estimated 1 in 200 (now thought to be 1 in 60).
Continue reading Is there a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 dying as a motorcyclist than being affected by COVID-19?