As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is warning Bahamians to avoid “fake news” as the government attempts to address “this major crisis”.
“We will continue to update the Bahamian people on all we are doing to address this major crisis,” Minnis said during the Church of God of Prophecy 2020 Conclave on Wednesday night.
“I would like to urge the public to rely on certified, credible sources of information, to stay up-to-date and properly informed about COVID-19 in The Bahamas.
“Misinformation, which can spread rapidly, causes distress and panic. Fake news and misinformation have the potential to undermine public confidence and response.”
He added, “Please avoid fake news. Avoid supposed remedies which are false and may be dangerous to your health. We need to avoid hysteria and deal with facts in order to vigorously address this crisis.”
There have been more than 124,800 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in 118 countries since its outbreak in Wuhan, China, in late December.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 4,610 people have died as a result of the virus.
Common signs of COVID-19 include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, according to WHO.
In more severe cases, the organization said, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.
“Most people who contract this virus will fully recover but there are a number of people who are particularly vulnerable, including the elderly and those at risk because of compromised immune systems,” Minnis said.
“Standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection include regular hand washing with soap for at least 20 seconds and covering the mouth and the nose when coughing and sneezing.
“Close contact should be avoided with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.”