“The fake information spread pertaining to COVID-19 is faster than the transmission of the virus itself. The impact of hoaxes is more lethal than the virus itself. We all can imagine that many people still do not believe in what we are handling today. That (fake news) has unbelievable impacts,” head of IDI’s executive board of daily mitigation, Mahesa Paranadipa, noted at an online press conference here on Tuesday.
As of today, there are people, even health workers, who do not believe in COVID-19, he said.
Convincing them otherwise has been no easy task for agencies, not just the government, but also health workers in the midst of efforts to curb COVID-19 transmission, he added.
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As of July 22, 2021, the Communication and Informatics Ministry has recorded 1,786 COVID-19 hoaxes, with a total of 3,499 shares, Paranadipa said. The fake information was spread via several social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, he added. Meanwhile, as many as 1,780 hoaxes, with 3,925 shares, were recorded the corresponding day, he said.
The civil society can play an important role in tackling hoaxes related to health, and COVID-19 in particular, he pointed out.
On behalf of IDI, he expressed the hope that the public would gain a better understanding of the pandemic and stay disciplined in observing the health protocols to prevent a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
“Civil society is expected to play an important role in tackling the health hoaxes together, especially regarding COVID-19. We expect that the public’s understanding can be more open to the current situation, thereby handling better in the near future and they can stay more disciplined,” Paranadipa remarked.
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