Jakarta (ANTARA) - Government spokesperson for COVID-19 Handling, Achmad Yurianto, has urged people to not believe in hoaxes that are being spread around the coronavirus, saying the government has so far detected 1,125 false news stories.

"There are already heavy challenges (for the country), in terms of health risks, and for the economic sector. We must make sure that we do not add more psychological burden (on citizens) from false news or information," he said at a press conference on Thursday for the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling in Jakarta.

Believing in hoaxes related to COVID-19 will add to psychological pressure and make it even more difficult for those staying at home to stem the spread of coronavirus infections, he elaborated.

The Ministry of Communication and Informatics has detected more than 1,125 hoaxes involving COVID-19 so far on various internet platforms.

"All of this (hoaxes) will be dealt with firmly by the police. Therefore, continue to access and follow correct and official information from the government," he advised citizens.

The public can access verified information online on the Task Force's official portal covid19.go.id, or by calling the 119 hotline number.

There is also a COVID-19 chatbot that can be accessed through WhatsApp or HaloKemkes at 1500567.

People can also search for information on medical or telemedicine applications that are cooperating with the government, such as HaloDoc and Alodokter.

The Task Force for the Acceleration of Handling COVID-19 has reported that between Wednesday and Thursday noon, the number of patients recovering from COVID-19 has increased by 102 to reach 548. The number of fatalities has spiked by 27, bringing the total number of deaths to 496. Meanwhile, an additional 380 positive cases have been recorded as of Thursday, bringing the total COVID-19 case count in Indonesia to 5,516. (INE)

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Translator: Prisca Triferna Violleta/Aria
Editor: Suharto
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