Health Minister in South Africa Zweli Mkhize is urging South Africans to guard against misinformation and fake news about coronavirus.
The high level of misinformation on social media and fake news about coronavirus, might lead to unnecessary public panic, the minister said at a press briefing in Hilton, outside Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal Province where the country’s first coronavirus-infected person was detected.
“We must stop spreading fake news that either ridicules the efforts of the health worker or that frighten people or send stories around,”Mkhize said.
The minister said some people were spreading fake news through WhatsApp about coronavirus also being confirmed in other parts of the country.
“Media is bombarding us with queries about fake cases. I will be the one who will know first. I request you desist from fake news,” he said.
The government has heightened surveillance to safeguard the country against the virus, said Mkhize.
No country can ever stop coronavirus from reaching its shores, he said.
“But we are dealing with an emergency here. We don’t need to squabble about the weaknesses of our health system,” Mkhize said.
He urged South Africans to get united in fighting the disease.