Falsehoods and Clarifications

09 Dec 2022

Beware of Scams


We are aware of websites, emails, SMS text messages and phone calls falsely claiming to offer registration for COVID-19 vaccination. Please note that registration for the COVID-19 Vaccination can only be done via vaccine.gov.sg. We advise the public to check the MOH website www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/vaccination for information on Singapore's COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Please always verify the authenticity of instructions before offering any personal or financial information. You can also call the MOH hotline at 1800 333 9999 if you have any queries. Thank you.

Clarification on Scams

We are aware of calls falsely informing recipients that they are from MOH, requesting for your personal or financial information over the phone. We urge recipients not to respond to these calls.

Please always verify the authenticity of instructions before offering any personal or financial information. You can verify the authenticity of emails or phone calls by calling us at 1800 333 9999. Thank you.

Clarification on Scam Email on Notice of Tax Reimbursement


We are aware of a scam email falsely impersonating MOH and titled ‘Notice of Tax Reimbursement’. Members of the public are advised to ignore the email and not to click on the link, or provide any personal, credit card or bank account details.

Those who have been affected by the scam are advised to lodge a police report.
Learn about the latest scam updates at scamalert.sg. Call the Anti-Scam Helpline: 1800-772 6688 for scam-related advice.

Clarification on Healthhub

We wish to clarify that the website https://www.simplyhealthhub.com/ is a private website and not associated with Healthhub or the Ministry of Health. To access the official HealthHub website, click below:

HealthHubLogo 1

Falsehoods & clarifications about COVID-19 infections and treatments

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CLARIFICATION: Article by Thailand Medical News

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is aware of false and misleading statements in an article titled ‘BREAKING! Singapore Is Under Attack By The New SARS-CoV-2 XBB Recombinant Variant With COVID-19 Infections And Hospitalizations Rising. Thailand Could Be Next!’. 

First published on 9 October 2022 by Thailand Medical News on their website, Facebook page, Twitter page, this article has also been shared on Facebook pages belonging to Mr Goh Meng Seng (10 October 2022), and on a HardwareZone forum thread (10 October 2022).

The article claimed that increased disease severity of COVID-19 is becoming a common occurrence, even in the fully vaccinated. The article also claimed that mortuaries, funeral parlours, and crematoria are facing a ‘pile up’ in cases. These claims are false.

There has been no evidence of XBB subvariant causing more severe illness than previous variants. In fact, our local data in the last two weeks shows that XBB cases are estimated to have a 30% lower risk of hospitalisation compared to Omicron BA.5 variant cases. MOH also did not observe increases in COVID-19 deaths over the past month. 

Although Thailand Medical News has since amended the article, the article as first published on 9 October 2022 misrepresented the COVID-19 situation in Singapore and had been circulating in private messaging chats and other social media channels, and could cause undue public concern. 

The Minister for Health has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue POFMA Correction Directions to Thailand Medical News, Goh Meng Seng, Goh Meng Seng People’s Power Party, and HardwareZone Forum. 

For facts of the case, please refer to this Factually article.

CLARIFICATION: Facebook post by Mr Goh Meng Seng on Lianhua Qingwen

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is aware of a Facebook post by Mr Goh Meng Seng, who noted that MOH had sponsored a study on the efficacy of the drug in treating mild COVID-19 infections, which was supposed to run from July 2020 to February 2021, and asked why the findings of that study have not been published yet.

Mr Goh Meng Seng’s post is incorrect. MOH had indeed offered to sponsor the study mentioned by Mr Goh Meng Seng, under a TCM research grant. However, the Principal Investigator for the study later withdrew her application. She cited inability to secure a suitable study site as the reason for the withdrawal.  

To date, a few randomised control clinical trials (RCTs) on Lianhua Qingwen have been conducted, only in China. The numbers of patients in these RCTs were not large enough, as such there is no conclusive scientific evidence to show Lianhua Qingwen can be used to prevent or treat COVID-19 in Singapore.

Mr Goh Meng Seng has accused the Government of lying; this is a serious, baseless accusation. We reserve the right to take further action if Mr Goh Meng Seng persists with this unjustified claim.

We strongly advise members of the public to consult a doctor for management of COVID-19, and to avoid speculating and/or spreading misinformation, which may cause public alarm, and to refer to credible sources of information instead. Please visit www.moh.gov.sg for the latest information on COVID-19. For information regarding consumer safety, please visit www.hsa.gov.sg.

For HSA’s full advisory on Lianhua Qingwen, please see:

FAKE NEWS ALERT: Local websites such as “Truth Warriors” posting unverified and potentially misleading information on COVID-19 and vaccines

We are aware that certain local websites such as “Truth Warriors” have been posting unverified and potentially misleading information on COVID-19 and vaccines.

The Truth Warriors website has also been carrying articles claiming that Ivermectin is safe and effective in treating COVID-19, and that various other countries have been using the drug for early treatment of COVID-19 with high success rates.


COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Singapore have been assessed to be safe and effective by both the HSA and the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination.

In Singapore, Ivermectin is a prescription-only medicine registered only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections. It is not an anti-viral medicine and is not approved by HSA for use in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. To date, there is no scientific evidence from properly conducted clinical trials to demonstrate that Ivermectin is effective against COVID-19.

Self-medicating with Ivermectin can be dangerous to one’s health, and there have been reports of patients requiring hospitalisation after doing so. Side effects can include vomiting, stomach pain, seizures, severe skin rash and liver injury etc. We strongly advise members of the public not to self-medicate with Ivermectin and to consult their doctor for proper treatment of COVID-19.

FAKE NEWS: A three-year-old preschooler passed away from COVID-19 at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), and the death was deliberately not reported

There is a false statement circulating online in a Facebook post by a user about a three-year-old preschooler who had allegedly passed away from COVID-19 at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), and that the death was deliberately not reported.


As of 14 August, there has been no case of any child that has died from COVID-19 at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) or any other hospital in Singapore.

The post also claimed that the “Delta Plus” variant of COVID-19 is now present in Singapore. As of 14 August, MOH has not identified the “Delta Plus” variant in any of Singapore’s known COVID-19 cases.

FAKE NEWS: A teenager has passed away soon after getting his vaccine

There are speculations surrounding an obituary circulating in Facebook, Telegram and WhatsApp chat groups, claiming that the teenager had passed away after getting his COVID-19 vaccination.


The death of the teenager is not vaccine-related. It is also unrelated to the gym incident involving a 16-year boy who had a cardiac arrest after exercising. The latter is recovering in the hospital and our best wishes are with him and his family.

We urge the public not to spread unsubstantiated information which may add to the family’s grief or cause public alarm unnecessarily.

FAKE NEWS: A harder-to-detect "Singapore variant" of COVID-19 has been discovered

A message is circulating that says researchers from a mix of Chinese and UK universities have published a paper claiming discovery of a “Singapore variant” that may result in more asymptomatic or mild infections, which are harder to detect.

The paper also claims that this variant is characterised by mutations in the transcription regulatory sequences (TRSs) motif.


The TRS motif is involved in subgenomic RNA-RNA interactions, and single nucleotide substitutions may affect the mechanism. This is part of basic science studies into RNA biology of SARS-CoV-2 infections, with implications on virus replication at the cellular level.

It is purely laboratory research and there is no demonstrated correlation with clinical and epidemiological impact.

There is also no basis for labelling it a “Singapore” variant. Our hospitals have not isolated any viral variant that was first detected in Singapore, or reported to the GISAID registry, which is the registry for all detected COVID-19 viral variants.

Mutation in this gene has been reported in many countries and this is not unique to a specific viral variant in Singapore.

Singapore’s NCID reported early last year that the dominant variant seen at the time belonged to the O clade which appeared to be associated with a mild clinical outcome. This clade was first detected outside of Singapore and was already present in other countries prior to its detection here. This O clade has not been isolated in Singapore since Circuit Breaker lockdown.

The Chinese-language paper speculates on the possibility of “super-attenuated” strain (that is, not dangerous) which spreads easily. There is no further basis for such speculation presented.

FAKE NEWS: An autopsy on a patient resulted in changes in treatment protocols

Published: 15 June 2021

A message circulating is claiming that the Ministry of Health has performed an autopsy on a COVID-19 patient, leading to alleged changes in treatment protocols. This is not true.


Singapore has not performed such an autopsy. The news states false information concerning the pathophysiology of COVID-19 infection which is not borne out of current evidence. Read more.

An earlier version of this news, which mentioned Russia instead of Singapore, has also been exposed as fake news.

We urge the public not to spread unsubstantiated information which may cause public alarm.

Falsehoods & clarifications about COVID-19 vaccinations

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FALSE: mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not effective against Variant of Concerns (VOCs)

Published: 17 June 2021

There are social media messages asserting that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective against Variant of Concerns (VOCs), and that inactivated virus COVID-19 vaccines would provide superior protection.


Our assessment, based on a continual review of data and evidence, remains that the PSAR-authorised mRNA vaccines are safe and highly effective, and continue to show protection against the VOCs. Read more.

FALSE: COVID-19 vaccinations can trigger strokes and heart attacks

Published: 15 April 2021

This false impression stems from falsehoods circulating that claims the COVID-19 vaccination has clear and causal links with strokes and heart attacks.

In particular, there are allegations that a doctor had suffered a stroke and an 81-year-old man had passed away from a heart attack as a consequence and result of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. These allegations are false.


As of 14 April 2021, there is no credible evidence that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, which are currently approved and offered in Singapore, increase the risk of strokes or heart attacks.

The medical team caring for the doctor had assessed the doctor’s condition and found it highly unlikely to be related to the COVID-19 vaccination.

Mount Elizabeth Hospital had issued a clarification on 4 April 2021 regarding this. The cause of death of the 81-year-old man was ischaemic heart disease (lack of blood circulation to the heart muscles).

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) Forensic Medicine Division has reported that based on post-mortem, there was extensive narrowing of the three main blood vessels supplying blood to the muscles of the heart due to atherosclerosis (build up of plaques over time in the blood vessels that obstruct blood flow). There was no evidence of acute anaphylaxis or an allergic reaction at the injection site of the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines that are used in Singapore have been assessed to be safe and efficacious by both the HSA and the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination.

Medical teams are well-equipped and measures are in place at all vaccination sites to ensure the safety of vaccine recipients pre-, during, and post-vaccination. All vaccine-related incidents are taken seriously and healthcare professionals are required to report these incidents expediently to the Ministry of Health and HSA.