We’ve all seen misinformation on WhatsApp before, it’s not exactly something new, but the amount of falsehoods spreading during the pandemic has certainly gone up a notch.
At the start of the pandemic, we heard somewhat innocuous lies, such as the myth that beer can cure COVID-19. We all know that’s untrue, but at the very worst, people who believed in it would have just gotten drunk af.
But in the past month, we’ve seen lies spreading about the purported deaths of COVID-19 patients.
First, it was a 16-year-old vaccine recipient, and now it’s a toddler.
MOH: Death of 3YO in KK Hospital Due to COVID-19 is Not True
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has called the public’s attention to a post circulating on Facebook which claimed that a young COVID-19 patient had died.
The post stated that a three-year-old preschooler had died from COVID-19 at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) and that this death was deliberately not reported.
“This is completely untrue and a total fabrication. As of 14 August, there has been no child who has died from COVID-19 at KKH,” MOH said in a Facebook post yesterday (14 Aug).
“We urge the public to refrain from spreading rumours and misinformation.”
The post claimed that the girl was admitted to KKH on 8 Aug with a high fever and was later confirmed to be COVID-19 positive.
Not only did it falsely claim that the girl had died from the disease, but it also alleged that the news was not covered by the media.
It also claimed that authorities were not transparent in their reporting of COVID-19 cases every day.
Netizens were appalled by the Facebook user who spread the falsehood, with some calling for her to be punished.
“What a disgusting thing to spread around when there is clearly no evidence (since it didn’t happen). It’s a good thing that there has been a clear unequivocal correction of this falsehood”, one commenter said.
“Really should bring those people to task,” said another.
“Please take legal action against the person!” one more netizen urged.
Death of 16YO Boy Erroneously Linked to Vaccine Recipient
This was the second time in the past month that users on social media and messaging platforms had spread falsehoods about a death related to COVID-19.
Last month, an obituary belonging to a 16-year-old boy who passed away on 10 July made the rounds online.
Some then assumed that this was the same 16-year-old who suffered cardiac arrest six days after his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
But of course, this wasn’t the case. Fortunately, the boy is now doing well and is in a general ward.
The ministry urged the public not to “spread unsubstantiated information which may add up to the family’s grief or cause public alarm unnecessarily”.
Unfortunately, some people just don’t listen.
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Featured Image: LisaAngeline123/shutterstock.com
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