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UCC cautions against circulating fake information on COVID- 19

FILE PHOTO: Uganda Communications Commission

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has cautioned the public against circulating falsehoods about COVID-19, a new strain of that has devastated the world.

The communications regulator observes that there is an increase in cases of misinformation through the publication of audios and videos circulating on digital platforms following the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 on Saturday.  In a statement, UCC warned that this conduct can cause civil disobedience, incitement of violence against people and their property and financial turmoil.

“UCC takes exception to this criminality and wishes to advise that any person found to be engaging in creating, initiating the transmission of fake stories and misinformation shall be apprehended and prosecuted for offending the Computer Misuse Act, 2011, the Data Protection and Privacy Act 2019 and the penal laws of Uganda”, the statement reads.

This morning, a Ministry of Health official Abirahmi Kananathan asked the public to disregard a post making rounds on social media that Uganda has registered the second case of COVID-19 referring to a man who was picked from Njeru in Buikwe district.

Ever since the outbreak was declared, there has been a fight by health officials against fake information which the World Health Organization branded as one of the challenges they have faced in managing the disease which is shielded in a lot of misconceptions.

In the same line, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has urged the public to verify all the information they get before circulating it. She told Uganda Radio Network that what they are fighting more than COVID -19 is wrong information.

Currently, she says there is no approved treatment for COVID-19 dispelling misinformation that those that take malaria drug chloroquine or HIV drugs are cleared of the virus.

On his part, the World Health Organization Uganda Country Representative Dr Tegnen Woldermariam said as Uganda announced the first case on Saturday there’s a challenge of misinformation and stigma.

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