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FAKE NEWS | IATF dispels rumors on total lockdown
March 27, 2020 , 09:52 AM

By Manny Mogato

March 27, 2020 – Authorities on Friday dispelled rumors on government’s plan to place under total lockdown the capital next week as it steps up efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, telling the public not to believe in rumors swirling in social media and private chat groups.

Karlo Nograles, the Cabinet secretary and designated spokesman of the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases, said there is no truth to reports being shared in social media about the military taking full control by Monday next.

“Fake news po yan,” Nograles said in a radio interview, adding there were also reports about the extension of the enhanced community quarantine by another 60 days and major markets, like Divisoria, closing down.

“Huwag po kayo maniniwala sa ganitong mga balita. Wala pong ganyan order o plano ang ating gobyerno.”

Nograles said some people spreading rumors are using mainstream media by manipulating social platform sites to disseminate false information, asking the public to listen only to official government announcement.

He also asked the public for cooperation to report to authorities people who are fabricating false and malicious information designed to sow fear and panic into the people.

“Our law enforcement agencies are on top of this situation, we will identify and prosecute those spreading rumors that cause chaos and panic,” he added.

In most cases, these false information lead to anxiety and fear, leading people to go on panic buying, he said, assuring the government has enough resources to provide food and non-food services to the people

The bicameral Congress passed early this week a law granting special powers to the president to respond the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and mitigate social and economic impact as government imposes a month-long lock down, shutting down schools, shops, offices and transportation.

As of Thursday, the disease has killed 45 people and sickened 707 people in the country. Only 28 people have recovered. There were also more than 200 Filipinos outside the country who were infected with the virus.

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