Public concerns of the coronavirus outbreak in Lebanon have brought about a wave of rumors among the Lebanese and on social media. It has brought about misinformation about the virus, increasing the fear, and creating challenges to the Lebanese government.
In such cases, it is difficult for people to differentiate between rumors and facts.
To prevent these rumors, misinformation, and fake news, the Ministry of Public Health announced in a statement that it will inform all the news in a transparent way and that it will take the necessary legal measures against everyone proven involved in broadcasting rumors and fake news.
“We read from time to time various statements attributed to the Ministry of Health and developed without a source, talking about recording new cases of coronavirus in different regions of Lebanon,” the statement said.
The Ministry of Health assured that, when anything new happens in this regard, it will immediately inform the public opinion in a transparent manner.
It went on issuing a firm warning: “All those who broadcast or publish fabricated news, and those who lack the lowest levels of moral responsibility, it [the ministry] will take all necessary legal measures against everyone involved in broadcasting this news, in order to ensure the citizens’ right to their social and health security, and not cause anxiety and panic in their circles.”
Health minister Hamad Hassan discussed the topic of the rumor, assuring the importance of responsible media in this concern.
He tweeted: “It is good to work to raise awareness and education in order to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. And the media remains the responsible partner so that the fabricators of rumors and science theorists don’t turn to heroes in their own virtual world, terrorizing without mercy and accountability.”
Despite that the coronavirus has claimed some 13 cases in Lebanon since February 21st to date, causing fear among the public, preventive measures are constantly being implemented and prompt actions are being taken.
People should deter from creating stories of incidents and WhatsApp them or post them online, inciting panic that is harmful to all.
Lebanese have more than enough crises to endure as it is. The least we can do is to act with high consciousness.
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