FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Kenya Red Cross Society Message About A New COVID-19 Strain?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a Kenya Red Cross Society warning about a new COVID-19 strain.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The message appears to be fabricated. The Kenya Red Cross refuted that it had sent the message in a Twitter statement.

Fact Check:

Kenya has reported some 129,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and about 2,100 deaths as of March 28, according to the World Health Organization. (RELATED: Did Tom Hanks Die From COVID-19?)

The image in the Facebook post displays a message, purportedly from the Kenya Red Cross, that appears to warn readers about a new COVID-19 strain. The supposed Kenya Red Cross message includes the organization’s logo at the bottom.

“You don’t cough, No fever. It’s Joint Pains, General Body Malaise, Loss of Appetite and COVID Pneumonia,” reads the alleged notice in part. “The strain is not domiciled in the nasopharyngeal area! The nasal swab will be negative for COVID-19.”

Check Your Fact didn’t find any similar statements in press releases or blog posts on the Kenya Red Cross website. The message also doesn’t appear on the organization’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Instead, the Kenya Red Cross addressed the purported message in a statement posted to Twitter.

“Our attention has been drawn to a message circulating on various social media platforms on the 3rd wave of COVID-19 that has hit the country in recent weeks,” the Kenya Red Cross said March 18. “We wish to state categorically that the Kenya Red Cross Society does not conduct research on coronavirus and therefore cannot offer any opinion on the strain of the virus.”

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced new restrictions in the capital city of Nairobi and four other counties due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, the Associated Press reported March 26. The new restrictions include banning all public gatherings and in-person meetings in those counties, as well as an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, according to the outlet.

In a televised address, the president also urged Kenyas to get COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the Associated Press. So far, the country has administered at least 64,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, Reuters reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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