Coronavirus losing potency: WHO didn’t say it but some other scientist did

Quick Take

We received a WhatsApp forward in our helpline about a particular facebook post claiming that World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a circular saying Coronavirus is becoming less potent.

We investigated and found out that the said circular was not issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, an Italian doctor named Zangrillo has made the claim. WHO has in fact refuted the claim. We term this as mostly false.

The Claim

The Facebook post has a WHO logo and reads: “Covid-19 Losing potency. A study conducted by world health organisation (WHO) and world majer hospitals has found that covid-19 become weaker,harmles those who have been recently infected by cronavirus, symptoms shows there is no lethal the petient will suffer covid-19 easer than two months ago.” A snapshot of the WhatsApp message sent to our helpline is given below and an archived version of the Facebook post can be checked here.

Fact Check

Has World Health Organization (WHO) issued this statement?

No. WHO has clarified that they do not support the claim that the virus has become less potent now.

Furthermore, a deeper look at the shared image also shows multiple spelling mistakes proving that it was not an official release.

Who made the claim?

An Italian scientist, Alberto Zangrillo, head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan is said to have made the claim. The report of the claim was published by news agency Reuters (Source). However, in another report published by Reuters Zangrillo has denied making the claim saying, “We have never said that the virus has changed, we said that the interaction between the virus and the host has definitely changed.”

Was the claim valid?

WHO has refuted the claim. In an interaction with an International media house, WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove has refuted the claim saying it lacked scientific evidence.

In a press conference, WHO has further clarified that they have no evidence that can support the fact that the virus has become weaker or stronger.

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