PUBLIC Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, has called for the arrest and charge of persons who are knowingly spreading rumours and misinformation about the deadly Coronavirus.
The minister made the comment on Saturday in a telephone interview, where she was asked to verify a report carried by an unfamiliar website that Guyana has confirmed seven cases of persons being infected by the virus.
“As public health minister, I want to go on record to deny that there are cases of the Coronavirus in Guyana. We wish to ask the police to address persons who are seeking to incite and scare the population on such a very serious health issue,” Minister Lawrence stated.
Over the last few weeks, there have been several reports on social media where persons were insinuating that the virus is in Guyana and that the Ministry of Public Health and other agencies are suppressing the information.
Recently, a social media post made by a female who claimed she received it from medial staff in Berbice, forced regional health authorities to host a press conference to set the record straight.
This publication has been informed that following the report by the unfamiliar website on Saturday, Guyana began receiving several calls from international and regional organisations regarding the validity of the report.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Paulette Adams, said checks were made at all the regional health offices and their heads say that the social media reports are not true.
The report in question which was titled “BREAKING NEWS: Guyana confirms seven Coronavirus cases in Georgetown” was shared on social media and did get the attention of the ministry, the permanent secretary indicated.
The Public Health Ministry is calling on the citizenry to desist from spreading information on their social media platforms, which they cannot substantiate.
Guyana has been working with the Pan American Health Organisation, the World Health Organisation and other relevant international, regional and domestic organisations and agencies to ensure locals are protected from the outbreak.