QuickCheck: Is there any truth in a WhatsApp voice note claiming that hospital wards are full?

BACK at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, videos and images of hospital wards full of patients and stories of treatment centres not having enough beds for people were a common sight – one that drove home how dangerous a virus can be, and one that stirred fear for many.

Recently, a voice note has been circulating on the chat application WhatsApp claiming that hospital wards are full once again and the number of patients brought in dead is on the rise due to a new wave from an African nation.

Is there any truth to the claims it makes?



In a statement posted on its official Facebook account, the Health Ministry said that the voice note in question first went viral in 2021 and is now resurfacing and causing worry among recipients.

“The public is asked to not spread the false news as it can cause panic in the community,” said the ministry.

It added that the public is also asked to be vigilant for the spread of Covid-19, as it is still present in the community.

“Be sure to take the necessary health precautions by constantly practising the Three W and avoiding the Three S. Take a Covid-19 test if you show symptoms, get your vaccine and booster and get early treatment and the antiviral Paxlovid if you test positive for Covid-19,” said the ministry.

The Three W are to wash hands, wear a mask and watch one's distance from other people while the Three S to avoid are crowded, closed or confined spaces.

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