On March 23, Georgian Facebook user Vladimer Martali published a photo and text, stating that American doctors created a vaccine against the coronavirus. The photo shows the medicine packages with inscriptions in English “COVID-19”. The post had up to 8 thousand shares, more than 800 comments and 2.2 thousand reactions. On the second day (March 24), the user changed the photo description, noting that the photo, in fact, depicts rapid coronavirus tests, rather than a newly-created vaccine.
The identical photo with the text of identical content was also spread on foreign platforms. The web page Spread To Muslim published the information about vaccine, while the Tooro Tv channel spread the photo and text on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. According to the published reports, the vaccine could defeat the coronavirus within 3 hours after being injected into the body.
In fact, the photo shows rapid coronavirus tests, used by South Korea to diagnose the virus, rather than a vaccine created by Americans. The photo clearly shows company’s name “Sugentech”.
The company was established in South Korea. On the homepage of the company’s website, we see a package of rapid coronavirus tests. In the description, the company writes:
“This is a test kit for qualitative determination of COVID-19’s IgM and IgG antibodies in human whole blood (finger prick or venous). The kits are accurate and easy to use and results can be observed with the naked eye within 10 minutes. The test detects the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies can be found in the blood of those who are tested after infection. The antibodies detected by this test indicate that a person had an immune response to COVID-19, whether symptoms developed from infection or the infection was asymptomatic. Antibody test results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms. As there is no medicine or vaccine, the best way to combat this infection is isolation. A lot of people don’t have symptoms. Because of that, quick diagnostics are very important. The test enables to help for community to identify infection and isolate people without symptoms but suspected COVID-19”.
Prepared by Eto Glurjidze
Myth Detector Lab