ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopian government has advised the police to take action on individuals who engaged in misinforming the public about coronavirus.
The move came on a day the Ministry of Health was forced to deny that there was no single death from Coronavirus in the country on Sunday.
Government officials believe that deliberate misinformation is being carried out on social media.
“Fake news in times of global health crisis is a challenge that citizens have to take proactive measures to withstand instead of reactively spreading false narratives,” said the Office of the Prime Minister.
The Office also reminds “law enforcement agents that they have been mandated to take action against individuals and groups unleashing terror upon people’s health and sense of safety”.
The Federal government has been making a concerted effort to organize and timely disseminate COVID19 information through daily updates from the Ministry of Health.
The PM Office has also been coordinating and sharing activity and status updates of the Ministerial and high-level sub-committees.
Members of the public are now “asked to be vigilant of political profiteers in these times” according to the PM office.
“Skewing public health information and creating fear and panic among citizens is an egregious act and betrayal of national solidarity,” it added.
At the moment, key sources of information on COVID19 cases are the Ministry of Health and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute.