Reuters | Many users have shared images or videos online that refer to the claim that African skin resists the coronavirus. The claim in this TikTok video ( here ), shared on Twitter, shows the Zimbabwe News article ( here ), which originated from the Zambian Observer ( here ).
Black History Month is over but we outchere bbyyyy ? pic.twitter.com/OGVTxpC3SB
— NEFERTITI $ ??? (@thelionessclub) March 3, 2020
Before the Zambian Observer, it was written about on a website called City Scrollz. The article is now deleted, an archived version can be found here: archive.is/sKtDE . The City Scrollz article mentions: “The Chinese doctors confirmed that Senou stayed alive because of his blood genetic composition which is mainly found in the genetic composition of subsaharan Africans, Cameroon Concord News reported.”
This claim does not exist in an article or the website of Cameroon Concord News. The website wrote about the article from City Scrollz (see here ). The City Scrollz article and the Zambian Observer article both mention a student from Cameroon who contracted the virus and is alive today, allegedly due to his skin color. Both also mention a man named Zanomoya KaTshatshu or Zanomoya Mditshwa, who gave his opinion:
“Caucasians is always at war with our black skin because they know our melanin is our defense against all that they throw at us. This proves yet again that the black man is indestructible, our bodies are made of the same substances that make up this Earth because we are owners of this universe, they will never wipe us off, history has already proved that.”
Neither article gives details on the identity of this man. The articles refer to him as “an African” who shared his opinion. There is no elaboration of his profession or connection to the story. The articles in question also refer to “Chinese doctors” but do not provide names.
A student who contracted the coronavirus in the region is 21-year-old man named Kem Senou Pavel Daryl from Cameroon. He was living in Jingzhou, China. He was the first African man to have contracted and be cured of the virus. He was hospitalized in isolation for 13 days and treated with a combination of drugs (BBC reported his case, see here ). Reuters journalists also spoke to this individual, and his family, to confirm details.
Senou’s recovery has nothing to do with his genetic composition, as the referenced articles suggest. The CDC or WHO has in no way concluded that any one race is at lower risk of contracting the virus or that one race will be cured easier or quicker (see here ).
The WHO confirmed with Reuters that this claim is false and unfounded.
False: No one ethnicity is more resistant to the coronavirus