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That’s bananas! Health Dept dismisses reports of HIV-infected fruit

A statement has been circulating on social media about HIV-infected fruit flooding the SA market.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Department of Health has dismissed a media report suggesting that it's no longer safe to eat bananas from certain supermarkets as they contain the HIV virus.

"It has come to the attention of the National Department of Health since yesterday afternoon, that there is a statement circulating on social media, in particular WhatsApp, attributed to the Ministry of Health, supposedly advising the South African citizens 'not to buy or eat from supermarkets in Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria'. The statement is untrue, malicious, and diabolic. It is designed to cause unnecessary panic to the public."

On Tues day website imzansi.co.za issued a breaking news story detailing cheap HIV-infected bananas which were flooding South African supermarkets.

It stated that this was contained in a press statement issued by the government after "the 'evil plot' was unearthed by the Hawks and that Dr Robert Galo, the American doctor who originally created the deadly disease, is believed to be the brains behind the illegal export and distribution of these extremely cheap but HIV-infected bananas. The ill-natured, heartless Dr Galo is believed to be working in cahoots with 8 South African doctors who have since been arrested".

In response the Department of Health stated, "We want to state clearly that there was never such warning posted on our website. There are procedures in place to ensure that information placed on our website is accurate and verified by authorised officials of the department. Matters of such public health magnitude are not dealt with simply by releasing a press statement. The Ministry of Health would have convened a media conference to thoroughly inform the public about the risk."