Police to crack down on Wuhan coronavirus rumourmongers

Datuk Dev Kumar M. M. Sree

by Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Jan 29: The authorities have delivered a strong warning to those spreading fake news regarding the Wuhan coronavirus in Sarawak.

Sarawak Deputy Police Commissioner Datuk Dev Kumar said the police will track down the origin and those people who started the fake news.

“We are serious about this and it is not a joke. Stern action will be taken against irresponsible parties who spread fake content or news or rumours on the coronavirus,” Dev warned.

Among the most recent rumours making the rounds, a private medical centre here was said to have suspected or infected Wuhan virus patients admitted into its facility.

“We have received a few messages with regards to other messages on the virus spreading in Sarawak, which have also gone viral. Police are currently investigating the case under Section 505B of Penal Code. Those found guilty for the offence is liable to two years jail,” Dev said after attending the State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) meeting this morning.

Rumours about the coronavirus spreading in various urban centres throughout Sarawak have been fueled by and are fueling unconfirmed or verified news about the virus.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said official information about the Wuhan coronavirus is only obtainable via JPBN, the only Sarawak-based authority and Ministry of Health Malaysia.

Uggah who spoke after chairing the JPBN meeting this morning said the rapidly spreading fake news has caused alarm and concern, disrupting people’s lives and adding to public confusion.

“This is a very irresponsible act. Please stop it. Cooperate and collaborate with the authorities to ensuring only verified news would reach the public,” Uggah pleaded. — DayakDaily