How to avoid being a victim of fake news about Coronavirus

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The Novel Coronavirus , known as Covid-19 which originated from the city of Wuhan in China in December 2019 has to date infected just under 120,000 people throughout the world (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ , 11 March 2020).

With the rapid spread of this virus, conspiracy theories and misinformation about the disease have been widely circulated on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok..

Whilst these social media platforms are trying their best to label and remove false information from their channels, it is impossible to catch and erradicate all fake news from the internet completely. Here are some tips which can be helpful to avoid falling victim to fictitious information about Covid-19.

Always check if the information comes from a credible source

The most reliable source for updates and information relating to Covid-19 is the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html). These sites also provide information about the preventive measures that should be adopted.

Local government and health ministries’ websites will also provide accurate information pertaining to the virus.

Other reliable online sources include:

  1. CDC (Centre for Disease control and prevention)
  2. Medline Plus, US National Library of Medicine
  3. UK’s National Health Service
  4. US Food and Drug Administration
  5. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe’s STAT News.
  6. Ministry of Health Singapore – Please visit www.moh.gov.sg for updates on the COVID-19 situation and click here for past clarifications.

MOH Singapore advises members of the public to not speculate and/or spread unfounded rumours.

Check out the origin of information posted on the internet

Oftentimes, accuracy is compromised when information is re-scripted in a post or article. If a post or article does not originate from a recognized authority on the disease (such the WHO, CDC or a government body) verify the authenticity before re-posting and sending to your contacts. To verify the authenticity of the information, trace back to the source of the original data referred to in the post and check if this comes from or corresponds to information from a recognized reliable source.

Check for ‘news’ that challenge currently accepted facts relating to Covid-19

Look out for ‘news’ that challenge information recognized or given by the authorities or present ‘facts’ that appear controversial or suspicious.

Be alert to errors in language

Often, spelling, grammar and syntax errors can be found in articles, posts, websites and social media platforms which engage in the spread of fake news.

Be cautious of content which promote viral sharing

You might have come across articles which advise that onions can cure Covid-19 or that this deadly virus was launched by the United States to slow down China’s economic growth. Spurious news and information which stir up interest and emotions, or appear to promote wellbeing and cures often come with an urge from the sender to forward the post to others for their benefit was well. If you receive such messages or articles, inform the sender and advise him/her to check facts in future before sharing and perpetuating fake news. If an individual or social media group is constantly sharing articles or posts of this nature, report this to the concerned authorities.

Google the information received

If you have received information about Covid-19 that you find suspicious or are unsure of its authenticity, google the information received to confirm if this is corroborated by credible sources such as the WHO or the CDC.

Law enforcement to prohibit the generation and proliferation of fake news

Governments and law enforcement agencies should enforce cyber-laws in their respective regions to prevent the creation and proliferation of fake news. Anyone found guilty of this should be punished as per Cyber law acts.

The Bottom Line

As much of Covid-19 is still unknown and doctors and scientists are working hard and fast to learn more about the disease and how best to combat it, the best sites for reliable up to date information would be organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose expertise and mission is the protection of public health.

Find below a list of official websites around the World:

Country Website
China http://www.nhc.gov.cn/xcs/xxgzbd/gzbd_index.shtml
Italy http://www.salute.gov.it/nuovocoronavirus
Iran  
Spain https://www.mscbs.gob.es/en/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/situacionActual.htm
Germany https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Fallzahlen.html
USA https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html
France https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus
S. Korea http://ncov.mohw.go.kr/tcmBoardView.do?brdId=&brdGubun=&dataGubun=&ncvContSeq=353626&contSeq=353626&board_id=&gubun=ALL
Switzerland https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/de/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/situation-schweiz-und-international.html
UK https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-track-coronavirus-cases
Netherlands https://www.rivm.nl/nieuws/actuele-informatie-over-coronavirus
Austria sozialministerium.at
Belgium info-coronavirus.be
Norway https://direkte.vg.no/coronaviruset/news/5e737658291a4b00111bca35
Sweden https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/the-public-health-agency-of-sweden/communicable-disease-control/covid-19/
Denmark https://www.sst.dk/da/Viden/Smitsomme-sygdomme/Smitsomme-sygdomme-A-AA/Coronavirus/Spoergsmaal-og-svar
Japan https://mhlw-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/c2ac63d9dd05406dab7407b5053d108e
Malaysia http://www.moh.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/2019-ncov-wuhan
Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Portugal https://covid19estamoson.gov.pt/
Australia https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers#current-status
Czechia http://www.mzcr.cz/dokumenty/informace-pro-obcany-v-souvislosti-s-aktualnim-vyskytem-cinskeho-koronaviru-2019_18415_1.html
Israel https://gis.health.gov.il/CoronaExposure/?locale=he
Brazil  
Ireland https://www.gov.ie/en/news/7e0924-latest-updates-on-covid-19-coronavirus/
Greece https://eody.gov.gr/tag/ncov/
Qatar https://www.moph.gov.qa/english/Pages/Coronavirus2019.aspx
Pakistan https://www.nih.org.pk/novel-coranavirus-2019-ncov/?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=0a6165a3f53b408609d9962ec69908d2fbacf99a-1584931021-0-ATgDKIkdR-P63ZUaH4IMkL-g2jkkc2RdamVr2fpeEAGa1sgokPBBcsT_rFAbow9tdBfDP1Brmy93GDUDWNxgpt1ovGMd2dQeRo4HUIFhgzO2lTjwW8QXkFeHUOQXtgZ6yx48DiVjN_D9h5QWRvT2ckuTaLbxilKznJABcrRFrye3nGfA7dUFokR7Ck1M4sqQEBwyAdJCa8-_LUP6D22DuPHmRD7mCeeSRidAPm1TIT2dx1YLUBZXYWmCa2Q3F23H2Isph0jxsRdJLc2p5BDG27XAk1DC1rPBIjht9QPOe5fBYrx2_vo5wwcT5KpFRYBuWg
Finland https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates
Turke  
Poland https://www.gov.pl/web/zdrowie/co-musisz-wiedziec-o-koronawirusie
Singapore https://www.gov.sg/features/covid-19
Chile https://www.gob.cl/coronavirus/casosconfirmados/
Luxembourg https://msan.gouvernement.lu/en/dossiers/2020/corona-virus.html
Iceland https://www.landlaeknir.is/koronaveira/thad-sem-thu-tharft-ad-vita/
Slovenia https://www.gov.si/teme/koronavirus/
Indonesia https://kemlu.go.id/portal/id
Bahrain https://www.moh.gov.bh/COVID19
Romania https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases
Saudi Arab  
Thailand https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/index.php
Estonia https://www.terviseamet.ee/et/uuskoroonaviirus
Ecuador  
Egypt  
Peru https://www.gob.pe/busquedas?contenido[]=noticias&institucion[]=minsa&reason=sheet&sheet=1&term=covid-19
Philippines https://www.doh.gov.ph/2019-nCov
Hong Kong https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html
Russia https://www.rospotrebnadzor.ru/about/info/news/
India https://www.mohfw.gov.in/
Iraq https://moh.gov.iq/
Mexico https://coronavirus.gob.mx/
Lebanon https://www.moph.gov.lb/en/Media/view/27840/1/-covid-19-
South Africa http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/component/phocadownload/category/615
Kuwait https://www.moh.gov.kw/
San Marino http://www.sanita.sm/on-line/home.html
UAE https://www.mohap.gov.ae/en/AwarenessCenter/Pages/COVID-19.aspx
Panama http://www.minsa.gob.pa/contenido/decretos-y-resoluciones-codes
Argentina https://www.argentina.gob.ar/salud/coronavirus-COVID-19
Colombia https://d2jsqrio60m94k.cloudfront.net/
Slovakia http://www.uvzsr.sk/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=250&Itemid=153
Armenia https://ncdc.am/coronavirus/confirmed-cases-by-days/
Croatia https://www.hzjz.hr/priopcenja-mediji/koronavirus-najnoviji-podatci/
Taiwan https://www.cdc.gov.tw/En
Bulgaria https://www.mh.government.bg/bg/informaciya-za-grazhdani/informaciya-otnosno-noviya-koronavirus-2019-ncov/
Serbia https://covid19.rs/homepage-english/
Uruguay https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-salud-publica/
Algeria http://www.aps.dz/en/algeria/tag/Coronavirus
Costa Rica https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/index.php/centro-de-prensa/noticias/741-noticias-2020/1532-lineamientos-nacionales-para-la-vigilancia-de-la-infeccion-por-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Latvia https://spkc.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/get/nid/757
Vietnam https://www.moh.gov.vn/en_US/web/ministry-of-health
Andorra https://www.salut.ad/temes-de-salut/coronavirus
Hungary https://koronavirus.gov.hu/virusrol
Brunei http://www.moh.gov.bn/SitePages/COVID-19.aspx
Faeroe Islands https://www.hmr.fo/en/what-we-do/corona-covid-19/
Jordan https://www.moh.gov.jo/DetailsPage/MOH_AR/HealthAndPublicInformationDetailsAR.aspx?ID=45
Cyprus https://www.moh.gov.cy/moh/moh.nsf/All/0D5A0919CACA4BF8C225851B003E098C
Albania https://shendetesia.gov.al/koronavirusi-i-ri-dhe-masat-ndaj-tij/
Bosnia and Herzegovina  
Morocco http://www.covidmaroc.ma/Pages/AccueilAR.aspx
Sri Lanka http://www.health.gov.lk/moh_final/english/news_read_more.php?id=842
Malta https://deputyprimeminister.gov.mt/en/health-promotion/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx
Belarus https://by.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
North Macedonia http://zdravstvo.gov.mk/sostojbata-do-12-00-chasot-registrirani-9-novi-sluchai-na-koronavirus-vo-zemjata-vkupno-85-dijagnosticirani-pacienti/
Moldova https://msmps.gov.md/ro/content/coronavirus
Kazakhstan http://www.gov.kz/memleket/entities/dsm/press/news/1?lang=kk
Lithuania http://sam.lrv.lt/en/news/important-information-to-foreign-nationals-in-lithuania
Oman https://www.moh.gov.om/en/web/guest/corona
Palestin https://www.moh.gov.ps/portal/en/
Azerbaijan http://www.sehiyye.gov.az/
Venezuel  
Georgia https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report
Tunisia  
New Zealand https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-current-cases
Cambodia  
Senegal https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/index.php/en/actualites/benin-burkina-faso-cabo-verde-cote-divoire-gambia-ghana-guinee-guinee-bissau-liberia-23
Dominican Republic MOH under development
Burkina Faso https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/index.php/en/actualites/benin-burkina-faso-cabo-verde-cote-divoire-gambia-ghana-guinee-guinee-bissau-liberia-23
Guadeloupe  
Liechtenstein https://www.regierung.li/coronavirus
Réunion http://www.health.gov.sc/index.php/tag/reunion-island/
Ukraine  
Honduras  
Martinique  
Uzbekistan  
Afghanistan https://moph.gov.af/en
Bangladesh  
Macao https://www.ssm.gov.mo/portal/
Bolivia  
Cuba  
Jamaica https://www.moh.gov.jm/?s=covid-19
French Guiana  
DRC  
Cameroon  
Maldives http://www.health.gov.mv/
Montenegro  
Paraguay https://www.mspbs.gov.py/index.php
Nigeria https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/index.php/en/actualites/benin-burkina-faso-cabo-verde-cote-divoire-gambia-ghana-guinee-guinee-bissau-liberia-23
Guam http://dphss.guam.gov/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-n-cov/
Channel Islands  
Ghana https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/index.php/en/actualites/benin-burkina-faso-cabo-verde-cote-divoire-gambia-ghana-guinee-guinee-bissau-liberia-23
Rwanda https://moh.gov.rw/index.php?id=575
Monaco https://en.gouv.mc/Portail-du-Gouvernement/Policy-Practice/Coronavirus-Covid-2019
Gibraltar  
Guatemala https://www.mspas.gob.gt/
Ivory Coast  
Ethiopia http://www.moh.gov.et/ejcc/
Trinidad and Tobago http://www.health.gov.tt/sitepages/default.aspx?id=293
Kenya http://www.health.go.ke/
Mauritius http://health.govmu.org/English/Pages/covid%20-19.aspx
Equatorial Guinea  
French Polynesia  
Kyrgyzstan http://www.med.kg/en/koronavirus-3.html
Mongolia  
Puerto Rico  
Seychelles http://www.health.gov.sc/
Tanzania http://www.health.go.ke/covid-19/
Guyana https://www.health.gov.gy/
Aruba  
Barbados https://www.gov.bb/
Mayotte  
Cayman Islands  
Curaçao https://www.curacao.com/en/questions/health-and-vaccinations/response-to-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
Bahamas http://www.bahamas.gov.bs/wps/portal/public/novel%20coronavirus%20(2019-ncov)/!ut/p/b1/vZbZjqM6EIafZR4gjc2eS3ZCgLDYJHCD2JIOgZAEEpanH1rT0tFoNN03c3BdWSrrq_9XVclERByI6Jq8zqekOzfXpPq4R2xMaTvLlWje4ll6DTYQ2RtZcSiNgsSeOOjhZMqNdVIVLx5caDxH4QSUZH9somfddvJNuhxODHqZFIYZT196mJD7-6BTeSUV1iMdyaTVz6_3dp-Lh3jNGtN0gaWaK3G60vb9U0t0lS9JvV5J5a1-n56cvSqw3E83fqAVTO4eSchlqihh-ipiKQiU9b1TRawVbXYSVxWUBpuLLzpqg6QUfvyYRYWzKPCXI4BfmoFmCcKseUeiD80SZLeYAbzMfr7_IuFbz6LfERoDWLDBjik4nE7uaPCZ8FWJXxdJE-GcwP09gSMQcQB07JfjbTNdJq-cXGChYGOjcIIT7tvLtLeRQtldApEcQpDi3sItsCaL6ibPRrnu5IGHRUF25NP4_Brom_SyQB6xSwOphYEUWBpILg1kFgYaS3cp9e_n0CCic1q_9Vn9Bt4YACFJQZ4hKY7lSCIwshMjNUKvKLLXwneLBUO3pc82qYTp2Y-ajdgNG0cn0-4QO6JL69k4CK653eV5nR_xXlfFAd7WguVi9SZ55uu-0cjGuHLe9Zr291IQH1paV7E4Gc5lfeSzZk0-2CY17tFh-li-tt7UxTeuiH92Nhi21jS7IisjMHHv4wnPrpBWbttt6Y4ABYZ_YQwfD5aNXLLr0KcrkljRXvnddmKXBfIiXBrI_e_ALUnNQJMybV6CvkYtDOT_fdP8Nkr8miLXDAd4mocMBJAIypAd5HYzz5Idvxf4otlNlprSwPdaJYEHqhRvm1XqiLLXURlv9aAhrkhF1Vix2i6gBSHKq6SgTnuAi8zBz8iSwkRwMwN3K88lm60p7EznYT-knnWVGNF8K6Y5xra-6oXD4N9z9TV_aQrOcyvpYYb27pjHDdKzwcJV6NAcX5_fh9FGr2B7s5AfRECP4B77x6ZdncvIliPLMB_HguWyR73qxu45ELf6tTVZT58Of0Shver_Yh7mn5xjfkw!/dl4/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/
Congo  
Gabon  
Namibia http://www.mhss.gov.na/
St. Barth  
Saint Martin  
U.S. Virgin Islands https://doh.vi.gov/
Sudan  
Benin  
Bermuda https://www.gov.bm/articles/updated-statistics-regarding-covid-19
Greenland  
Haiti https://mspp.gouv.ht/newsite/
Liberia https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/index.php/en/actualites/benin-burkina-faso-cabo-verde-cote-divoire-gambia-ghana-guinee-guinee-bissau-liberia-23
Mauritania  
New Caledonia  
Saint Lucia http://www.sante.gov.mr/
Zambia https://www.moh.gov.zm/?page_id=6366
Nepal https://www.mohp.gov.np/en/
Antigua and Barbuda https://ab.gov.ag/detail_page.php?page=42
Bhuta http://www.moh.gov.bt/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/
CAR  
Chad  
Djibout  
El Salvador https://cov.salud.gob.sv/
Fiji  
Gambia https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/index.php/en/actualites/benin-burkina-faso-cabo-verde-cote-divoire-gambia-ghana-guinee-guinee-bissau-liberia-23
Guinea https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/index.php/en/actualites/benin-burkina-faso-cabo-verde-cote-divoire-gambia-ghana-guinee-guinee-bissau-liberia-23
Vatican City  
Isle of Man https://www.gov.im/coronavirus
Montserrat  
Nicaragua  
Niger https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/index.php/en/actualites/benin-burkina-faso-cabo-verde-cote-divoire-gambia-ghana-guinee-guinee-bissau-liberia-23
St. Vincent Grenadines http://health.gov.vc/health/index.php/c
Sint Maarten http://www.sintmaartengov.org/government/VSA/Health-Updates/NOVELCORONAVIRUS/Pages/Current-Situation.aspx
Somalia http://moh.gov.so/en/
Suriname http://health.gov.sr/
Eswatini http://www.gov.sz/index.php/about-us-sp-1053405439/117-health
Togo https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/index.php/en/actualites/benin-burkina-faso-cabo-verde-cote-divoire-gambia-ghana-guinee-guinee-bissau-liberia-23

 

 

 

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