Pets and COVID-19
by Dr Orna YOUNG for FactCheckNI
9 April 2020
There have been a lot of stories in the news and shared online about animals and COVID-19. From tigers contracting the virus to the risk to your domestic cat, the variation in information and advice is changing on a daily basis. Continue reading Pets and COVID-19
Fighting a fire blindfolded? COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland
by Jenny McENEANEY for FactCheckNI
8 April 2020
“You cannot fight a fire blindfolded… test, test, test.” That’s a summary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance to countries battling the global outbreak of COVID-19. Globally, there has been a variance in the rate of testing as countries battle to suppress and/or mitigate the spread of the virus. How does Northern Ireland fit into the global picture? How have we fared on testing to date and what is the target going forward? Continue reading Fighting a fire blindfolded? COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland
CLAIM: The Department of Health (England) needs the consent of families to release information of deceased relatives.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. While there has been a change in the timing of reporting of official statistics regarding the impact of COVID-19, there is no suggestion that family consent has any role in the registration of deaths or their statistical reporting. In Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency has stated that all deaths are a matter of public record. Continue reading Do families have to give permission for COVID-19 death statistics?
CLAIM: It is claimed on social media that Northern Ireland Government contingency plans for COVID-19 include turning Dundonald Ice Bowl into a morgue to store bodies temporarily. A common extension is that the SSE (Odyssey) Arena has also been earmarked as a contingency morgue.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The Department of Justice confirms that there are no plans to use either Dundonald Ice Bowl or the SSE Arena. The Justice Minister has stated that buildings on the Kinnegar site outside Holywood will be used as the Northern Ireland Temporary Resting Place if required. Continue reading Is there a plan to use Dundonald Ice Bowl as a morgue?
Misinformation and COVID-19
by Dr Orna YOUNG for FactCheckNI
25 March 2020
We are living through a global health emergency in which the communication of misinformation and disinformation — or what has been termed “an infodemic” — will quite literally mean the difference between life and death. Never before has the quality and accuracy of the information we are consuming mattered on such an immediate and global scale. While social media platforms and communication apps must play their role in removing misinformation, individuals also have a responsibility to check what they are sharing. With this in mind, FactCheckNI have put together a guide to accessing information on COVID-19. Continue reading Misinformation and COVID-19
CLAIM: The grounds of the Michael Davitt GAC, in Swatragh, County Londonderry, have been offered as a coronavirus field hospital.
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Michael Davitt GAC has responded that while consultations are ongoing, no decision has been made or agreed with any other agency regarding the use of their grounds. Continue reading Michael Davitt GAC offered as a coronavirus field hospital?