War versus ‘infodemic’

Editorial cartoon by Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2020 09:22 PM

War versus ‘infodemic’

In the time of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), fake news about the disease is doing as much as harm as the disease. 

There's fake news about hospitals and areas having patients with the virus even though they have none; there's fake news the virus only survives in cold weather (ergo, not in tropical countries); there's fake news about herbal medicines that can fight the virus. 

Fake news and unfounded fears have caused so much panic that some medical goods — N95 masks, surgical masks, alcohol — are now in short supply for those who need them most, such as doctors and nurses. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Secretary Francisco Duque have called this an "infodemic." WHO has called on tech giants, such as Facebook, to help curb the spread of fake news, especially since fake news usually spread faster than reliable news. 

The public is advised to double-check its sources of information and rely on news that come from the health department, health experts, the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others in the medical community. Like and share only news from these sources. 

Let's all help in this war against infodemic.