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Pakistan

Web Desk
March 30, 2020

Fake news on coronavirus: Punjab stops unauthorised officials from talking to press

Pakistan

Web Desk
Mon, Mar 30, 2020

In an attempt to deal with the problem of fake news and misinformation surrounding the coronavirus, the Punjab government has stopped unauthorised health officials from giving statements to the media.

The notification, seen by Geo.tv, states that in the “wake of the prevailing situation of COVID-19 epidemic, a lot of misinformation is being transmitted on electronic and print media.”

Officials of public sector hospitals and institutions in the province, which come under Punjab’s Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department, are then directed to not “give any statement or interview to the print or electronic media about the pandemic without prior approval from the competent authority.”

The letter also states that a panel of experts will be appointed, known as the Corona Experts Advisory Group, who will be available to the media for comments or expert opinion, adding that “if a doctors considers him/herself an expert on the subject, he/she may first seek” authority or to be added to the Group.

The notification, signed by the secretary of the healthcare and medical department, has been sent to all vice chancellors of the public sector medical universities, principals, heads of the health institutions in Punjab, medical superintendent of teaching hospitals and the administrator of Shaikh Zayed Hospital in Lahore.