The Covid-19 pandemic has propagated a tremendous amount of terror in masses around the world. As much of the globe is hit with the Coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently announced that series of news related to Covid-19 as an “infodemic which is defined an over-abundance of information, some accurate and some not which makes it hard for people to find reliable sources and data. Due to the false information, fear is spreading among the people. Nowadays, the internet is packed with coronavirus misinformation with people sharing unverified claims.
How to access accurate information related to coronavirus pandemic?
To access the authentic information, there are five steps:
1. Find the source:
Before you forward any text message, first identify its source. Mostly viral messages are tagged as ‘forwarded’ on WhatsApp or plagiarised across social media platforms.
For example, Dawn recently fact-checked a false notification that was propagating on social media. It was making a claim that Pakistan’s health ministry had suggested that a prevention method from Covid-19 was to keep one’s throat moist. When checked by the Official public advisories, no such precaution related to the throat was provided.
2. Reliable source:
When everyone around you is sharing updates on covid-19, the rule is to limit your sources of information. For reliable global updates, the most trustworthy source of information is the WHO. If you have any querry about Covid-19, add +41798931892 number to your contacts, and conversate with the WHO.
3. Check Fake Graphics and Editing:
Different sorts of fake graphics are used to spread misinformation. Editing screenshots and videos are not considered a big deal these days.
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For instance, a screenshot of a purported internal email disclosing that a certain bank in Rawalpindi was closed after an employee was tested positive for the novel coronavirus. This news has been shared on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. French news agency AFP found that the claim is false
4. Be Responsible, Not Emotional:
Desi totkas and famous remedies such as garlic, saltwater, onions, lemon juice, and ginger have all featured in viral posts as treatments from people. And many people become emotional about these and start believing them. For example, in Iran, where drinking is illegal and thousands have been infected from Covid-19, 44 people died and hundreds were hospitalised after drinking home-made booze to protect against coronavirus.
5. If you’re not sure, Don’t share:
Finally, if you are not sure about any news or even have a minor doubt regarding any information related to Covid-19, Please don’t share it.