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Did 9 Countries Issue Travel Warning On US Violence?!

Did 9 Countries Issue Travel Warning On US Violence?!

Did nine countries just issue travel warnings against the US because of the rising violence there?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : 9 Countries Issued Travel Warning On US Violence!

The Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) and pro-CCP netizens are now promoting articles claiming that nine countries just issued travel warnings against the US because of the rising violence there!

Even Chinese state propaganda outlet Global Times wrote about these new travel warnings of US violence. Here’s an excerpt:

As the conflict between Americans with different political demands becomes increasingly violent, some countries close to the US have expressed concerns about the safety of their citizens in the US, reflecting their growing lack of confidence in Washington’s political system and governance capability.

A CNN report on Sunday observed the rare phenomenon that nine countries – Australia, New Zealand, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Canada, and Israel – have issued various levels of travel warnings against the US due to increasing violence in the country.

 

Truth : Those Travel Warnings On US Violence Are Not New!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and pro-CCP netizens.

In the following sections, I will share with you what exactly did those nine countries advise, and show you why they are nothing more than common sense advice.

Yes, the US has a gun violence problem, but those nine countries did not advise its citizens against travelling to the US.

Fact #1 : CNN Report Was Not Referring To New Travel Advisories

The CNN report that Global Times and other media outlets referred to was not a “news report”, but a travel article called “What travel warnings do other nations give their citizens about US violence?

Anyone who reads the article would have noted that the writer, Forrest Brown, did not state that these travel advisories were new.

He was writing to show the people of America what other countries think of them, and was not specifically

American travelers — at least those of the cautious variety — might be familiar with the US State Department’s travel advisories.

The agency monitors the world for potential trouble and issues warnings from “Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions” to “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” alerting would-be visitors to terrorism threats, war, arbitrary enforcement of local laws, high crime rates and other personal security issues.

But have you ever wondered how other countries’ governments caution their citizens about coming to the United States? What kind of reputation does America have?

Fact #2 : Australia Advised Normal Safety Precautions

Australia did not change its travel advisory for the US, which remains at “Exercise normal safety precautions in the United States of America“. Here are its advice with regard to crime:

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and protests are occurring due to the potential for unrest and violence. Monitor the media for information and updates. Follow the instructions of local authorities, and abide by any curfews in place.
  • Violent crime is more common than in Australia. Gun crime is also prevalent. If you live in the US, learn active shooter drills.
  • Thieves target travellers. Take care in crowded areas and on public transport. Conceal your valuables, and don’t leave items unattended in your car.
  • There is a heightened risk of terrorist attacks in the US. Be alert, particularly in public places and at events.

Fact #3 : Canada Advised Normal Security Precautions

Canada also did not change its travel advisory for the US, which remains at “Take normal security precautions“. Here are its advice with regard to crime:

  • Criminal incidents associated with drug trafficking are more frequent at the border with Mexico, in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.
  • Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, particularly in urban centres and tourist locations.
  • Within large urban areas, violent crime more commonly occurs in poor neighbourhoods, particularly from dusk to dawn. It often involves intoxication.
  • Incidents of violent crime are mainly carried out by gangs or members of organized crime groups but may also be perpetrated by lone individuals. Although violent crime rarely affects tourists.
  • The rate of firearm possession in the US is high. It’s legal in many states for US citizens to openly carry firearms in public.
  • Incidences of mass shootings occur, resulting most often in casualties. Although tourists are rarely involved, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Fact #4 : UK Advised Sensible Precautions

UK did not appear to change its travel advisory for crime in the US since 9 June 2022, where it asked people to take “sensible precautions”:

  • Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your property against petty crime.
  • Violent crime, including gun crime, rarely involves tourists, but you should take care when travelling in unfamiliar areas. Avoid walking through less travelled areas alone, especially at night.
  • Incidents of mass shooting can occur, but account for a very small percentage of homicide deaths.
  • Crime associated with the illegal drugs trade is a major issue in Mexican states bordering Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.

Fact #5 : Israel Says There Is No Travel Threat

Israel did not change its travel advisory for the US, which remains at Threat Level 01 (No Travel Threat). It only asked that its citizens take “basic precautionary measures”.

Fact #6 : France Calls US Among The Safest Countries To Visit

France did not change its travel advisory for the US. In fact, it called “the United States of America is among the safest countries” to visit.

It does, however, tells its citizens to be wary of gun violence and crimes in very specific locations like :

  • Boston : gun violence and crime in certain localised areas.
  • New York : petty and medium crime, as well as assaults in the subway
  • Washington : ordinary crimes like thefts and assaults at night
  • Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta : certain areas to be avoided at night
  • New Orleans : many cases of pickpocketing and assaults
  • Florida : petty crime in tourist areas

Fact #7 : Germany Did Not Change Its Travel Advisory On US Crime

Germany did not change its travel advisory on US crime recently, only on “entry by land via Canada or Mexico”. It tells its citizens to be wary of gun violence and common crimes:

  • Pickpocketing, muggings and car break-ins occur in many metropolitan areas in the United States, but the danger varies greatly depending on the town and even within a large city depending on the neighborhood.
  • In poorer neighborhoods, risks for travelers increase, especially after dark, as well as in some tourist areas and on public transport. Shop robberies have increased noticeably in some cities in recent months.
  • It is easy to obtain guns in the United States , leading to increased use of firearms and occasional killing sprees. The number of arms and ammunition purchases has increased significantly during the COVID-19 crisis.

Fact #8 : Mexico Does Not Even Have Travel Advisory For US!

Anyone who read the CNN article would have known that Mexico (currently) does not have any travel advisory for the US. The CNN research team had to dig up a May 2021 travel advisory, which stated that:

  • historical racial and ethnic tension, including opposition to immigration, have led to attacks by violent extremist groups
  • citizens are advised to avoid large crowds, and should always carry a copy of their Mexican passport and an official photo ID

Fact #8 : Japan Warns Its Citizens About Gun Crime

As Japan is a gun-free nation, its government warned its citizens visiting the US that “one of the main security concerns in the United States is gun crime“, with advice on how to get out of an active shooter situation:

  • Find security exits in a new place and have an evacuation plan
  • Escape regardless of whether others agree or not
  • Hide in a room and barricade the door using heavy furniture
  • Keep quiet and mute cell phones

Fact #9 : New Zealand Was Worried About Terrorism Threat

New Zealand did not change its travel advisory on US crime for quite a long time, with the threat level remaining at Level 2 of 4 (Exercise increased caution), due to the “threat of terrorism”.

When it comes to crime, it offered the same common sense advice as other countries:

  • Petty crime such as theft and pickpocketing can occur, particularly in urban centres, tourist locations and on public transport.New Zealanders should stay alert to their surroundings, stay vigilant on public transport and avoid leaving belongings unattended, including in rental vehicles.
  • You should avoid crossing the border by car into Mexico from Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. There have been increased incidents of crime associated with drug trading.
  • There is a higher incidence of violent crime and firearm possession than in New Zealand. In many states, it is legal for United States citizens to openly carry firearms in public. However, crime rates vary considerably across cities and suburbs and incidents rarely involve tourists. New Zealanders should take care when travelling in unfamiliar areas.
  • Active shooter incidents occur in the United States.

Ultimately, his is just another example of Chinese propaganda propagated by the infamous Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and pro-CCP netizens.

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Fact Check : “Mexico Did It” Phone Virus Warning!

Will the “Mexico Did It” photo infect your phone with a virus in 5 seconds?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : “Mexico Did It” Photo Will Infect Your Phone With A Virus!

The warning about the “Mexico Did It” photo or image that will infect your phone with a virus keeps going… viral on WhatsApp and social media.

There are two versions so far – in English, and in Spanish.

FYI:
They are going to publish an image that shows how Covid 19 is cured in Mexico and it is called “Mexico did it”, do not open it because it enters the phone in 5 seconds and it cannot be stopped in any way. It’s a virus. Pass it on to your friends and family. Now they also said it on CNN and BBC. DO NOT OPEN IT

Pass it on

Van a publicar una imagen que muestra como el Covid 19 se cura en Mexico y se llama “Mexico lo hizo” no lo abran porque entra al telefono en 5 segundos y no se puede frenar de ninguna forma. Es un virus. Pasenlo a sus familiares y amigos. Ahora lo dijeron tambien en CNN y BBC

 

Truth : There Is No “Mexico Did It” Photo / Virus!

This is just another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : This Viral Message Has Been Circulating Since 2021

The viral message about the “Mexico Did It” photo or virus has been circulating on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter since April 2021.

Fact #2 : This Is A Modified Version Of “Argentina Is Doing It”

This viral message is actually a modified version of an earlier fake message, which claims that a video on WhatsApp called “Argentina is doing it” will hack your phone in 10 seconds.

It just replaces Argentina with Mexico, a video with a photo, and changes it from a 10-second hack into a 5-second virus attack.

Those two fake news are, in turn, probably based on the even older fake claim that hackers are using greeting photos and videos to hack your phone.

Read more : Can Greeting Photos + Videos Hack Your Phone?!

Fact #3 : There Is No “Mexico Did It” Photo / Virus

There is no such thing as a “Mexico Did It” image or photo. Neither is there a virus called “Mexico Did It”.

There is also no known virus that can infect your phone with a virus simply using a photo or image.

Fact #4 : CNN + BBC Never Reported On Such A virus

It’s been over 1.5 years since this fake story first appeared on Facebook and WhatsApp, but neither CNN nor BBC has ever reported on a “Mexico Did It” virus.

Fact #5 : Image-Based Malware Is Possible, But…

Digital steganography is a method by which secret messages and other data can be hidden in digital files, like a photo or a video, or even a music file.

It is also possible to embed malicious code within a photo, but it won’t be a full-fledged malware that can execute by itself.

At most, it can be used to hide the malware payload from antivirus scanners, which is pretty clever to be honest…

Fact #6 : Image-Based Malware Requires User Action

In January 2019, cybercriminals created an online advertisement with a script that appears innocuous and would pass any malware check.

However, the image itself has an “almost white” rectangle that is recognised by the script, triggering it to redirect the user to the cybercriminals’ website. Once there, the victim is tricked into installing a Trojan disguised as an Adobe Flash Player update.

Such a clever way to bypass malware checks, but even so, this image-based malware requires user action.

You cannot get infected by the Trojan if you practice good “Internet hygiene” by not downloading or installing anything from unknown websites.

Fact #7 : Malicious Code Executes Immediately

If you accidentally download and trigger malware, it will execute immediately. It won’t take 5 seconds, as the hoax message claims.

Generally, malware won’t wait a few seconds before it infects your devices. Waiting will only increase the risk of detection.

Unless the malware creator designed it to only infect your phone when you are sleeping (like the early hours of the morning), it pays to execute immediately.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Parent Company Of Shopee Slashes Costs + Salaries!

Sea Limited – the parent company of Shopee – appears to be in dire straits, pulling out of markets, slashing costs and salaries!

 

Parent Company Of Shopee Slashes Costs + Salaries!

Singapore-based Sea Limited – Shopee’s parent company – appears to be in dire straits, pulling out of markets, slashing costs and salaries!

In March 2022, Shopee shut down its France operations less than 6 months after kicking off its “European conquest” in October 2021.

Then in early September 2022, Shopee exited Argentina, and shut down its local operations in Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Sea Limited’s Garena gaming unit also laid off hundreds of employees in Shanghai.

Today (September 15, 2022), Bloomberg reported that Sea Limited’s top management staff will forgo their salaries, and the company will tighten its expenses.

In a 1,000-word internal memo to Sea Limited staff, CEO Forrest Li said that the leadership team will not take any cash compensation “until the company reaches self-sufficiency”, as well as these additional measures :

  • business travel is restricted to economy class flights,
  • travel meal expenses are limited to US$30 a day,
  • hotel stays for business trips are limited to US$150 a night
  • reimbursements for meals and entertainment bills will be removed

 

Sea Limited + Shopee Have Been Struggling In 2022

Li noted that Sea Limited has been struggling against rising interest rates, accelerating inflation, and a volatile market – conditions that he foresees will likely persist into the medium term.

He stressed that the company’s primary objective for the next 12-18 months will be to achieve positive cashflow as soon as possible.

With investors fleeing for ‘safe haven’ investments, we do not anticipate being able to raise funds in the market.

The only way for us to free ourselves from relying on external capital is to become self-sufficient, generating enough cash for all our own needs and projects.

Li’s comments mirrors the “tough times” concerns recently expressed by HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfe.

Read more : HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Warns Of Tough Times!

Sea Limited saw its market value soar to more than US$200 billion in October 2021, but its share prices tumbled 85%, reducing its market value to just US$27 billion.

Last month, Sea announced that its net loss in the second quarter of 2022 widened to US$931.20 million from US$433.7 million last year. Its total adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation for that quarter also jumped to US$506.3 minion from US$24.1 million.

This was despite a 29% increase in total revenue to US$2.9 billion, from US$2.3 billion in the second quarter of last year.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Why Sony Hiked PlayStation 5 Prices Globally!

Sony just gave everyone a “nice” August surprise, by hiking PlayStation 5 prices globally by up to 24%!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Sony Hikes PlayStation 5 Prices Globally, Except US!

Sony has had a hard time producing enough PlayStation 5 consoles, with available units getting snapped up within minutes, often by scalpers.

It doesn’t seem to be a situation that will likely be resolved until 2024, but that does not mean Sony is willing to lose out on profits just because there’s still a shortage of chips worldwide.

On 25 August 2022, they sprung a “nice” surprise by announcing an immediate hike to PlayStation 5 prices globally… except in the United States.

Japan gets a short reprieve until September 14, so consumers there can still enjoy the lower price, but with virtually no stock at hand, that probably won’t make much of a difference.

Europe

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – €549.99
  • PS5 Digital Edition – €449.99

UK

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – £479.99
  • PS5 Digital Edition – £389.99

Japan (effective Sept. 15, 2022)

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – ¥60,478 yen (including tax)
  • PS5 Digital Edition – ¥49,478 yen (including tax)

China

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – ¥4,299 yuan
  • PS5 Digital Edition – ¥3,499 yuan

Australia

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – AUD $799.95
  • PS5 Digital Edition – AUD $649.95

Mexico

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – MXN $14,999
  • PS5 Digital Edition – MXN $12,499

Canada

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – CAD $649.99
  • PS5 Digital Edition – CAD $519.99

Singapore

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – SG$799
  • PS5 Digital Edition – SG$669

Malaysia

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – RM2,499
  • PS5 Digital Edition – RM2,069

Indonesia

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – IDR 9,699,000
  • PS5 Digital Edition – IDR 8,199,000

Thailand

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – THB 18,690
  • PS5 Digital Edition – THB 15,690

Philippines

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – PHP 30,790

Vietnam

  • PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive – VND 15,990,000

In the United Kingdom, prices are going up by £30 for both the Blu-ray and Digital Edition versions – a 6% to 8% hike.

In Europe, the €50 hike raises the console’s price by 10% to 12.5% for the Blu-ray and Digital Edition versions respectively.

In Australia, the A$50 hike raises the console’s price by 6.7% to 8.3% for the Blu-ray and Digital Edition versions respectively.

Here in Malaysia, the RM200 hike raises the console’s price by 8.7% to 10.7% for the Blu-ray and Digital Edition versions respectively.

The highest increase though will be in Japan. The ¥10,498 increase is a massive 21% hike over the original price of ¥49,980 for the Blu-ray edition. The Digital Edition was originally priced at ¥39,980, but it will cost 24% more after its price is raised by ¥9,498.

 

Why Is Sony Hiking PlayStation 5 Prices Globally, Except US?!

It is certainly odd and rare for companies to raise prices on a product in the middle of its lifespan. I should point out that the PlayStation 5 is almost 2 years old, having been launched on November 12, 2020.

Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan blamed the decision on “challenging economic conditions” which caused “high global inflation rates, as well as adverse currency trends“.

The global economic environment is a challenge that many of you around the world are no doubt experiencing. We’re seeing high global inflation rates, as well as adverse currency trends, impacting consumers and creating pressure on many industries.

Based on these challenging economic conditions, SIE has made the difficult decision to increase the recommended retail price (RRP) of PlayStation 5 in select markets across Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific (APAC), Latin America (LATAM), as well as Canada. There will be no price increase in the United States.

Why not the United States? Probably because Sony is not doing quite so well in that market, getting edged out by Xbox Series X/S. So it looks like Sony does not want to upset the apple cart there just yet…

PlayStation 5 is doing great in other countries, so Sony apparently felt confident enough to raise prices without the risk of potential customers jumping to the Xbox bandwagon in protest.

Ultimately, this boils down to profit. If Sony cannot get enough units out the door, the only way to increase profits is to raise prices. And if raising prices will keep the shareholders happy and protect their own bonuses, it’s no surprise that Sony executives would sign off on this.

Even more shockingly – Sony is raising prices most in its own turf. Japanese gamers will have to put up with a massive price hike of 21% to 24%.

It really does not pay to be a fan of Sony products…

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

The WHO has convened an emergency meeting on the monkeypox outbreak that has spread to 56 countries!

Here is what you need to know…

 

WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

On 23 June 2022, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened an emergency committee meeting under Article 48 of the International Health Regulations to discuss the current monkeypox outbreak.

Chaired by Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele and Dr. Nicola Low, this emergency WHO meeting on monkeypox is only open to members and advisors of the Emergency Committee.

The findings of this emergency meeting would be conveyed to the Director-General of WHO, on whether the outbreak should be classified as a public health emergency of international concern, and also on potential recommendations on how to address it.

This meeting comes as an NGO called World Health Network (unrelated to WHO) issued a press release describing the current monkeypox outbreak as a “pandemic”, urging “immediate and effective action” from country and global health authorities.

This led to a bit of confusion, as their names and acronyms were similar (WHO vs WHN). To be clear, WHO has not declared a monkeypox pandemic.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

 

Over 4,000 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 56 Countries!

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

Monkeypox became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014, and several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019)..

However, nothing has come close to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak which has now affected at least 56 countries outside of endemic African countries, with over 4,000 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Spain 918 100 1,018
United Kingdom 793 793
Germany 676 676
France 330 330
Portugal 328 328
Canada 223 45 268
United States 173 173
Netherlands 167 167
Italy 85 85
Belgium 77 1 78
Switzerland 52 52
Ireland 28 28
Ghana 18 18
Brazil 11 6 17
Israel 16 16
Australia 13 13
Denmark 13 13
Sweden 13 13
UAE 13 13
Austria 12 12
Poland 12 12
Mexico 9 9
Slovenia 9 9
Hungary 7 7
Czech Republic 6 6
Uganda 6 6
Romania 5 5
Argentina 4 4
Finland 4 4
Malta 4 4
Norway 4 4
Somalia 4 4
Chile 3 3
Colombia 3 3
Greece 3 3
Iceland 3 3
Bulgaria 2 2
Latvia 2 2
Morocco 1 1 2
Bahamas 1 1
Cayman Islands 1 1
Fiji 1 1
Georgia 1 1
Gibraltar 1 1
Haiti 1 1
Libya 1 1
Lebanon 1 1
Luxembourg 1 1
Serbia 1 1
Singapore 1 1
South Africa 1 1
South Korea 1 1
Uruguay 1 1
Venezuela 1 1
Zambia 1 1
TOTAL 4,049 170 4,219

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Over 560 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 25 Countries!

Over 560 monkeypox cases have now been confirmed in at least 25 countries outside of Africa!

Find out if the monkeypox outbreak could become a new pandemic we have to worry about!

 

Over 560 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 25 Countries!

People are now worried about the rapid spread of monkeypox globally. although the WHO has said that it is unlikely to become a pandemic like COVID-19.

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

Monkeypox became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014, and several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019)..

However, nothing has come close to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak which has now affected at least 25 countries outside of Africa, with over 560 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
United Kingdom 179 179
Spain 120 120
Portugal 96 96
Canada 26 37 63
Germany 33 33
Netherlands 26 26
France 17 17
United States 15 15
Italy 14 14
Belgium 9 9
Czech Republic 5 5
Switzerland 4 4
UAE 4 4
Sweden 3 3
Ireland 2 1 3
Argentina 2 2
Australia 2 2
Denmark 2 2
Israel 2 2
Slovenia 2 2
Austria 1 1
Finland 1 1
Malta 1 1
Mexico 1 1
Thailand 1 1
TOTAL 568 56 617

 

Monkeypox Cases May Increase, But Unlikely To Become Pandemic

On 30 May 2022, the World Health Organisation’s top monkeypox expert, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, gave a public briefing on the 2022 monkeypox outbreak.

Here is a summary of the key points Dr. Lewis shared in that public session :

  • She does not expect the monkeypox outbreak to turn into another pandemic like COVID-19.
  • There are still many unknowns about this outbreak, including how exactly it is spreading.
  • The suspension of mass smallpox immunisation decades ago may have resulted in increased transmission.
  • Vast majority of current cases seen in gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.
  • There is a higher proportion of people with fewer visible lesions that are more concentrated in the genital region, and sometimes nearly impossible to see. This is a danger because they are infectious even though their lesions are not visible.
  • There is a window of opportunity to shut down the outbreak so it does not become endemic in new areas.

Fortunately, the 2022 monkeypox outbreak appears to be of the less virulent West African strain, because there is no proven treatment.

The smallpox vaccine can offer up to 85% protection against monkeypox, and certain antiviral treatments can be attempted.

But otherwise – hospitals can only offer supportive treatment as the patient isolates for 2-4 weeks until the disease resolves.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

Monkeypox primarily spreads through close contact, but can spread through respiratory droplets. However, it is far less contagious and is not airborne like COVID-19.

Infected people are also not considered contagious until they start showing symptoms, which limits transmission. This is unlike COVID-19 which is often spread by people who are asymptomatic.

The best way to describe its ability to infect people would be to understand its R0 (Reproduction Number, pronounced as R naught) – how many people an infected person is expected to pass the disease along to.

The ancestral COVID-19 virus has an R0 of between 2 to 3, which increased to 8 with the Omicron variant. That’s really contagious – every infected person will (on average) transmit the virus to 8 other people.

On the other hand, past outbreaks of monkeypox had an R0 of less than one. That means even though there may be clusters of several cases, even outbreaks, the cases die out on their own.

Virus R0
Measles 12 to 18
Omicron COVID-19 8
Smallpox 5 to 7
Ancestral COVID-19 2 to 3
H1N1 (2009) 1.5 to 2.5
Monkeypox <1

Monkeypox fortunately does not spread very efficiently between humans. Generally, you need to have skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, or come into contact with his/her bodily fluids, to get infected.

The people most at risk would be close contacts of the infected person, like family members or healthcare workers taking care of them.

Transmission is really happening from close physical contact, skin-to-skin contact. It’s quite different from COVID in that sense.
– Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

It’s not as highly transmissible as something like smallpox, or measles, or certainly not Covid. It does not spread easily from person to person, the risk to the general public is low.
– Anne Rimoin, infectious disease epidemiologist at University of California.

That is why it is very unlikely to become a pandemic, although if it spreads to susceptible rodent populations, it could become endemic in those areas.

There is also the fact that the monkeypox is so closely related to the smallpox virus, the smallpox vaccine offers 85% protection against monkeypox infections.

In fact, one smallpox vaccine – JYNNEOS – was approved in the United States to serve as protection against monkeypox. Even though there is no public access to this vaccine, that can quickly change.

Several countries, including the United States, have strategic reserves of smallpox vaccines, which can be deployed in a monkeypox outbreak.

Countries have also started purchasing smallpox vaccines :

  • 19 May 2022 : Spain’s Ministry of Health announced that it was in the process of purchasing thousands of doses of smallpox vaccines
  • 24 May 2022 : CDC announced that the US is in the process of releasing some JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine doses for people who are “high risk”.
  • 25 May 2022 : the German government announced that it was buying 40,000 doses of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic.
  • 26 May 2022 : the UK Health Security Agency announced that it purchased 20,000 doses of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic.

 

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Did 10 Countries Cancel All COVID-19 Tests + Vaccinations?

Did 10 countries just cancel all COVID-19 tests, quarantine procedures and vaccinations?

Take a look at the viral message, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : 10 Countries Cancelled All COVID-19 Tests + Vaccinations!

This is the first part of a viral message, that appears to be combined from two different viral messages. Read part two.

It claims that 10 countries just cancelled all COVID-19 tests, quarantine procedures and vaccinations, because they now consider COVID-19 to be “just a seasonal flu”.

The following countries announced the cancellation of all quarantine procedures, Corona tests, and compulsory vaccination, and considering Corona just a seasonal flu:

1) Turkey 🇹🇷
2) Brazil 🇧🇷
3) Britain 🇬🇧
4) Sweden 🇸🇪
5) Spain 🇪🇸
6) Czech Republic 🇨🇿
7) Mexico 🇲🇽
8) El Salvador 🇸🇻
9) Japan 🇯🇵
10) Singapore 🇸🇬

 

Truth : Those Countries Did NOT Cancel COVID-19 Tests / Vaccinations!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : None Of Those Countries Cancelled COVID-19 Tests

None of the ten countries mentioned in the viral message cancelled any requirement to test for COVID-19.

Turkey : Travellers must submit negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival. Proof of vaccination or negative PCR test within last 48 hours is required to enter certain venues in Turkey. Symptomatic people in Turkey are tested for COVID-19.

Brazil : Travellers must test negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours (RTK) or 72 hours (PCR) before boarding.

Britain : Travellers who are not fully vaccinated must take a COVID-19 test within 2 days before departure, or on arrival in England. Negative COVID-19 tests are still required to enter certain venues in Wales and Scotland.

Sweden : Travellers must be fully-vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arrival in Sweden.

Spain : Travellers must be fully-vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours (PCR) or 48 hours (RAT) before arrival.

Czech Republic : Travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test, irrespective of vaccination status.

Mexico : Travellers were never required to undergo a COVID-19 test.

El Salvador : Travellers were no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 test since 17 November 2021,

Japan : Travellers (including citizens) must submit a negative test result within 72 hours prior to departure.

Singapore : Travellers must submit a negative test result within 48 hours prior to departure.

Fact #2 : None Of Those Countries Cancelled COVID-19 Quarantine

Turkey : Unvaccinated travellers must undergo mandatory quarantine for up to 10 days. COVID-19 positive individuals and unvaccinated close contacts must quarantine for 7 days.

Brazil : Unvaccinated travellers must undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days. COVID-19 positive individuals must quarantine for at least 7 days.

Britain : Travellers who are not fully-vaccinated must quarantine for 10 days, until 11 February 2022. After that, only those who test positive on arrival in England must quarantine. COVID-19 positive individuals must quarantine for 10 days, including close contacts who are not fully-vaccinated.

Sweden : COVID-19 positive individuals must quarantine at home for at least five days.

Spain : COVID-19 positive individuals must quarantine at home for at least seven days.

Czech Republic : Close contacts must quarantine for 5 days. COVID-19 positive individuals must quarantine for at least 5 days.

Mexico : Travellers were never required to undergo a mandatory quarantine. COVID-19 positive individuals are required to quarantine for 5-10 days.

El Salvador : El Salvador can place municipalities under special quarantine with little to no prior notice.

Japan : Even with a negative test, all travellers from countries where Omicron variant is dominant must self-quarantine for 7 days. Close contacts must quarantine for 7 days,

Singapore : Travellers must quarantine until they receive a negative result for their On-Arrival COVID-19 PCR test. COVID-19 positive individuals must quarantine for 10 days.

Fact #3 : None Of Those Countries Cancelled COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 vaccinations are still continuing in all ten countries mentioned in the fake message.

In fact, most of those countries have pretty high vaccination rates :

  • Turkey : 62.1% fully vaccinated
  • Brazil : 70.4% fully vaccinated
  • United Kingdom : 71.9% fully vaccinated
  • Sweden ; 72.9% fully vaccinated
  • Spain : 80.8% fully vaccinated
  • Czech Republic : 63.3% fully vaccinated
  • Mexico : 59.7% fully vaccinated
  • El Salvador : 64.8% fully vaccinated
  • Japan : 79.2% fully vaccinated
  • Singapore : 83.6% fully vaccinated

Fact #4 : None Of Those Countries Considers COVID-19 A Seasonal Flu

While many health experts predict COVID-19 could be “endemic”, that is still not certain.

If COVID-19 becomes endemic, that means SARS-CoV-2 is is impossible to completely eradicate, and is here to stay… forever.

However, it does not mean they consider COVID-19 to be nothing more than “just a seasonal flu”.

For one thing, COVID-19 is far more deadly than the seasonal flu, even though the flu is caused by multiple viruses.

The WHO also considers COVID-19 to be a pandemic, warning that it is too early to treat it as an endemic disease.

“We still have a huge amount of uncertainty and a virus that is evolving quite quickly, imposing new challenges. We are certainly not at the point where we are able to call it endemic.”

No matter how you slice or dice it, COVID-19 is currently not close to being “just a seasonal flu”.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Fake News : New Malaysia Travel Ban On 23 Countries!

Please note that the new travel ban by Malaysia on 23 countries with high COVID-19 cases is FAKE NEWS!

Here is what you need to know!

 

Claim : Malaysia Travel Ban On 23 Countries!

On 7 January 2022, people started sharing a screenshot of a travel advisory by the Embassy of Malaysia in Berlin, Germany.

Please skip to the next section for the facts…

Embassy of Malaysia, Berlin

TRAVEL ADVISORY
ENTRY RESTRICTIONS ON FOREIGN TRAVELERS TO MALAYSIA

Effective from 08 January 2022, the Government of Malaysia is imposing travel restrictions into Malaysia on foreign travellers who are travelling from countries that have recorded over 150,000 COVID-19 cases as listed below:

 

Truth : There Is No Such Travel Ban!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS being created and circulated on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the facts…

Fact #1 : This Travel Advisory Was Forged

This travel advisory was forged from the original September 2020 travel advisory.

Back then, the government of Malaysia announced the temporary travel ban on those 23 countries, that would start on 7 September 2021.

The original travel advisory was edited, with the new date added to make it look like it’s new. But it was a very poor photo-editing job.

If you look carefully, the 08 January 2022, date is not only in bold , but of a different type of font and a much larger size.

Note : Here is the screenshot that went viral. I added a FAKE overlay to prevent further abuse.

Fact #2 : Embassy of Malaysia In Berlin Confirms It Is Fake

The Embassy of Berlin in Malaysia confirmed that the viral travel advisory is FAKE.

ANNOUNCEMENT

The Embassy of Malaysia, Berlin would like to warn the public that there has been a fake news being circulated regarding travel advisory by the Embassy of Malaysia, Berlin on entry restriction on foreign travelers [sic] to Malaysia.

We condemn the actions of those who maliciously spread fake news which can have an adverse effect and concern to the public. The public is advice [sic] to validate the source before circulating any news.

Thank you.

Embassy of Malaysia, Berlin
7 January 2022

Fact #3 : Malaysia Currently Has No Travel Ban

There is currently no travel ban in Malaysia.

In fact, Malaysia just ended a temporary travel ban of 8 countries, on 27 December 2021, due to the risk of Omicron variant.

There is currently only a list of 18 countries that are considered high-risk due to the Omicron variant.

  1. Australia
  2. The United States of America
  3. The United Kingdom
  4. Norway
  5. France
  6. Denmark
  7. Canada
  8. Nigeria
  9. India
  10. Saudi Arabia
  11. South Africa
  12. Botswana
  13. Eswatini
  14. Lesotho
  15. Mozambique
  16. Namibia
  17. Zimbabwe
  18. Malawi

Travellers from those 18 high-risk countries can still travel to Malaysia, but they must comply with the following additional restrictions :

  • Negative COVID-19 PCR test within 2 days before departure
  • COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Malaysia
  • Wear a digital tracker on arrival in Malaysia
  • Mandatory quarantine of 7 days or 10 days, depending on vaccination status, either at home or at a quarantine centre, subject to approval.
  • Additional PCR test on Day 5 (for 7-day quarantine) or Day 8 (for 10-day quarantine).
  • Risk assessment on the last day of quarantine, which may be extended if you are symptomatic.
  • You will only be free from the quarantine on Day 8 or Day 11, if there is no quarantine extension and the Day 5 or Day 8 PCR test is negative.
  • Travellers from the United Kingdom have the additional requirement of conducting daily RTK-Ag tests during their quarantine, which must be reported in MySejahtera.

Now that you know the truth, please SHARE this fact check with your family and friends, so they won’t get fooled by it!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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H1N1 Pandemic : The Great American Cover-Up Debunked!

People are spreading the fake story that Western media covered up the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, while hypocritically criticising China over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

We will debunk this nonsensical claim about the H1N1 American Pandemic Virus, and show you what really happened.

 

2009 H1N1 Pandemic : The Great American Cover-Up?

China is under great pressure fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, which has resulted in unfair racist attacks on Chinese and Asian-looking people in many countries, especially in the West.

Unfortunately, that situation has also encouraged Sinophiles and the Chinese propaganda arm to create false narratives to divert some of the blame.

This example about the H1N1 American Pandemic Virus was created by Gong Simi Singapore, which roughly translates as What Say You Singapore, based on Chinese propaganda.

H1N1 was started in the USA. Little efforts were made by the USA to stop the spread of the virus.

It killed 284,500 worldwide and affected 214 countries.

There was no mention by the western media that H1N1 is an American Pandemic Virus.

It did not help that even famous Chinese journalist Liu Xin from CGTN got into the act, claiming that Western media did not call America the Sick Man of North America for the H1N1 pandemic that she claimed began in the US.

Now, let us show you why this is yet another fake story…

 

H1N1 Pandemic : The Great American Cover-Up Debunked!

We created this video to explain in just over 3 minutes why this is a Chinese propaganda effort to hit back at perceived Western bias in their fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

While they may have their (arguably justifiable) reasons for doing so, it is still a lie, and must be debunked.

CDC Did NOT Admit It Originated In The US
They keep pointing out that the CDC admitted that the 2009 swine flu pandemic originated in the US. That’s actually not accurate.The CDC is a US agency, and was reporting on the 2009 flu pandemic from the US perspective. Their Q&A only mentioned that it was first detected in the US in April 2009.

In the first WHO report on the disease, it was pointed out that while the US reported seven confirmed cases on 24 April 2009, the Mexican government admitted that they already picked up cases from 18 March 2009 onwards.

In other words, the 2009 flu epidemic started in Mexico for more than a month, before spreading to the US and the rest of the world, creating a pandemic.

The 2009 Flu Pandemic Started In Mexico!

The claim that the 2009 swine flu pandemic started in the US is false.

That swine flu pandemic actually originated in Veracruz, Mexico. That is over 500 kilometres from the nearest US border town of Brownsville, Texas.

The Strain Is Called Pandemic Disease Mexico

After the 2009 pandemic strain was confirmed to have originated in Mexico, it was known as the A(H1N1)pdm09, which is short for Influenza A (H1N1 subtype) Pandemic Disease Mexico 2009.

It Was A National Emergency In The US

The claim that the US did nothing to stop the spread of the virus is also false.

President Barack Obama actually declared the 2009 flu pandemic a US National Emergency on 24 October 2009.

Two different vaccines were developed and introduced by November 2009. President Obama himself received the trivalent jab on 20 December 2009.

It Triggered The First Ever WHO PHEIC

The 2009 flu pandemic so alarmed the WHO that they declared their first ever PHEICPublic Health Emergency of International Concern – in April 2009.

So any claim that there was no effort by any party to stop the spread of the virus is nonsensical.

 

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