Don’t viral fake news on Covid-19, Sarawakians told

A snapshot of the fake WhatsApp message going viral on August 1, 2020.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Aug 2: Fake news ‘virus’ is going viral among the people of Sarawak together with the SARS-CoV-2 virus of Covid-19 and the public must not be part of it.

This is the view of State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian when he responded to yet another untrue WhatsApp message going viral on August 1 regarding the nationwide standard operating procedures (SOPs) of wearing mask starting yesterday.

This message, among other things, claimed that the wearing of face masks is mandatory in a car with more than one person from different households.

It also noted the compulsory practice of social distancing in a car whereby only two persons are allowed in a small car such as the Perodua Axia, with one person in the driver seat and another in the backseat.

The claims in this message were later confirmed to be fake by the National Security Council (MKN) in one of its notices.

“This is a time of crisis. It is not a time to fool around when there is already tremendous suffering and misery (due to the Covid-19).

“We don’t need fake news for fun, to cause more panic or fear, and cause unnecessary stigma,” said Dr Sim in his Facebook post yesterday.

He also urged the public not to be involved in the spreading of similar fake messages by verifying the source of the message before forwarding it to others through WhatsApp.

“Have a heart, empathy and be helpful to everyone so that together we shall overcome Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

“Everyone has a role. Please play your part seriously. Together, we can prevent 2nd (second) wave (of Covid-19) in Sarawak,” he further urged.—DayakDaily