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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Undark by Sarah Wild.]

African blood and black skin prevent Covid-19.” This is one of the many claims that the fact-checking organization Africa Check has disproved since the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 emerged in December 2019. In South Africa, where Africa Check is headquartered, there are rumors that the virus only affects white people, leading some residents to ignore warning signs that they might be infected.

“Just this past weekend, we received over 200 requests to fact-check information related to the pandemic, many times over what we got on a ‘normal’ weekend of the last quarter of 2019,” wrote Lee Mwiti, Africa Check’s chief editor, in an email to Undark.

As the virus spreads across the globe, bringing with it the threat of disease and economic collapse, the World Health Organization has warned of a second contagion: false information. Around the world, politicians, profiteers, and others have — sometimes unwittingly, sometimes not — transmitted inaccurate information about the virus and the disease it causes, Covid-19. In some cases, such misinformation has had tragic results.

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South Africa at a Glance
59 620 000 (mid 2020 estimate)
2.2% y/y in June 2020 (CPI) & +0.5 y/y in June 2020 (PPI)
-2.0% q/q (1st quarter of 2020)
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