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dodgy claims Fake Covid-19 information flyers quoting Nazis distributed in north

Two separate leaflets with NHS and Government logos were put through letterboxes

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The fake information leaflets were posted through doors in Belfast

The fake information leaflets were posted through doors in Belfast

The fake information leaflets were posted through doors in Belfast

Leaflets containing fake Covid-19 information have been distributed in Northern Ireland.

Two separate flyers, which feature UK Government and NHS branding and logos, were put through letter boxes in the Lisburn Road area of south Belfast.

The flyers were distributed before a six-week lockdown, starting on Boxing Day, was announced by the Northern Ireland executive on Thursday evening.

The messages appear to have been distributed by coronavirus and vaccine sceptics, though it is not clear if one person or a group is behind the effort.

On one flyer it is claimed that testing cannot identify the virus and is only being used to spread fear and log false positive cases.

It also claims that the vaccine, which has recently been developed, is unsafe, and that none of the social distancing guidelines, including the wearing of face coverings, are backed by medical science.

On a larger flyer it reads: ‘The figures show Covid 19 is no more serious than the seasonal flu.’

Underneath, the writer has even compared regulations and lockdown measures to those used by the Nazis.

It reads: ‘The Nazis had a phrase to gain compliance. Für ihr sicherheit -It's for your safety.’

In referring to the 2020 Coronavirus Act, using which the author claims the Government can ‘detain, test and treat’ people against their will, the message adds: 'This dangerous act needs repealing right now. The government must also be held accountable for the deaths it has caused due to its unnecessary draconian emergency response.'

A spokesperson for neighbourhood watch in the Lisburn Road area where the flyers were distributed said they had caused much confusion, especially among older people, who saw the government and NHS logos and thought the messages were legitimate.

Health minister Robin Swann has previously spoken out against fake news being shared in the public domain and on social media.

He said: "If they think this is some sort of great hoax that is being manipulated across the world, never mind here in Northern Ireland, they are deluded."

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: "These leaflets contain dangerous lies. They are encouraging people to ignore vital public health advice that's been developed by medical and scientific experts in order to reduce Covid-19 infection levels and save lives."

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