As Covid-19 ripped through the Philippines, social media posts purported to share an official government health warning about the Omicron variant. The posts are misleading; the health department said it had not issued the warning, which makes a string of baseless claims about the virus.

“DOH OMICRON ALERT,” reads the graphic shared on Facebook on January 17, referring to the Philippine Department of Health.

“Omicron infection rate takes 20 seconds to infect adults and children,” it reads.

The graphic, which features the DOH logo, also claims that a person infected with the Omicron Covid-19 variant “can be re-infected after three weeks” and that “re-infection is more fatal”.

“Omicron infected [sic] is caused by positive people who are freely walking, working without showing symptoms and infecting other people,” it adds. “Always wear a mask even at home”.

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