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Debunked: No, the 'lockdown' isn't here - that's the Defence Forces setting up a testing site on Dublin's quays

A Facebook post said the army was “setting up camp” on the quays.

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ANOTHER VIRAL IMAGE claiming that the country is heading for a lockdown has been doing the rounds on social media today. 

The photo, which shows Defence Forces personnel on Hanover Quay in Dublin, has been shared on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter in the last six hours. 

In some versions being shared on WhatsApp, the photo is accompanied by a text saying “LOCKDOWN”. In another version on Facebook, the caption on the photo says: “Army seting up camp on the quays. Is this going to be a complete lockdown?”

In the last 1o days, TheJournal.ie has reported on bogus WhatsApp voice notes and dodgy messages all claiming that the country is about to be effectively put under martial law. 

They are all false – you can read these pieces here and here.  

ETpRkL7WsAAEVI4 The message doing the rounds.

So, is this “going to be a complete lockdown”? The answer is no.

What is actually happening is that members of the Defence Forces set up a Covid-19 testing site on the banks of the River Liffey.

A number of tents were erected along Hanover Quay in the capital. They will be used to safely test people presenting with symptoms of coronavirus. 

The LÉ Samuel Beckett is also berthed at the quay. It is being used to provide electricity for the testing centres along with other tasks. 

There have been a number of other pop-up testing facilities which have been established in the last week.

These include the drive-thru facility in Croke Park. It is expected that there will be several more ad-hoc testing centres created in the coming days.

The Defence Forces have been working with other arms of the State to provide assistance. 

So far, members have also been helping colleagues from the National Ambulance Service by manning the emergency number phonelines.

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There is a lot of false news and scaremongering  being spread in Ireland at the moment about coronavirus. Here are some practical ways for you to assess whether the messages that you’re seeing – especially on WhatsApp – are true or not. 

STOP, THINK AND CHECK 

Look at where it’s coming from. Is it someone you know? Do they have a source for the information (e.g. the HSE website) or are they just saying that the information comes from someone they know? A lot of the false news being spread right now is from people claiming that messages from ‘a friend’ of theirs. Have a look yourself – do a quick Google search and see if the information is being reported elsewhere. 

Secondly, get the whole story, not just a headline. A lot of these messages have got vague information (“all the doctors at this hospital are panicking”) and don’t mention specific details. This is often – but not always a sign – that it may not be accurate. 

Finally, see how you feel after reading it. A lot of these false messages are designed to make people feel panicked. They’re deliberately manipulating your feelings to make you more likely to share it. If you feel panicked after reading something, check it out and see if it really is true.

TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here

Have you gotten a message on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter about coronavirus that you’re not sure about and want us to check it out? Message or mail us and we’ll look into debunking it. WhatsApp: 085 221 4696 or Email: answers@thejournal.ie 

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