Fact-check: Already debunked COVID-19 video goes viral on social media in Pakistan

The conspiracy theories being peddled in the clip have been debunked several times by fact-checking organisations

Geo Fact-Check

A video that has again gained traction, this time on Pakistan’s social media, purportedly shows health experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) dismissing the coronavirus as “just a seasonal flu”.

The claim is false.


On December 29, a verified Twitter account posted a clip with the caption: “Breaking News: The WHO has admitted its mistake and taken a U-Turn. It has now been said that the coronavirus is a seasonal flu…There is no need to panic.”

In the video, a woman, who identifies herself as microbiologist, says there is “good news” as the “coronavirus is a seasonal virus”.

“There is no need for lockdown, for masks or for social distancing,” she adds.

While another man, seated with her in the panel, says: “We see no evidence of a medical pandemic.”

This video has received over 12,000 views.


The footage is not of a press conference held by the World Health Organization. It is in fact an event held in 2020 by an organisation that calls itself the “World Doctors Alliance”.

The video and its conspiracy theories have been debunked several times by fact-checking organisations since 2020.

Professor Dolores Cahil, seen in the video, even identifies herself as the president of the World Doctors Alliance, and not of the WHO.

Here is the organisation’s website, where her designation has been listed.

The man in the video is Dr Heiko Schoning, who is also associated with the World Doctors Alliance.

As per its website, the alliance identifies itself as a “collaboration between medical professionals”.

Moreover, the clip and its contents were fact-checked by the US-based Associated Press in October 2020, soon after the video was posted online.

YouTube has also taken down the original video from its platform.

The claim that the COVID-19 is just an influenza flu virus has been debunked several times by health experts and the WHO.

The coronavirus has to date taken the lives of 7,508,006 people globally. While in Pakistan, it has killed over 30,000 people to date.

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