WHO Director-General: "People must have access to accurate information to protect themselves and others"

9 February, 2020

Extracts below and a tweet from HIFA (please retweet). Full text here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-51429400

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Coronavirus: WHO chief warns against 'trolls and conspiracy theories'

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that "trolls and conspiracy theories" are undermining their response to the new coronavirus.

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that misinformation was "making the work of our heroic workers even harder"...

"I would also like to speak briefly about the importance of facts, not fear," Dr Tedros said. "People must have access to accurate information to protect themselves and others."

He said misinformation around the new strain, 2019-nCoV, "causes confusion and spreads fear to the general public"...

A number of false theories have been spread globally about the virus in recent weeks.

Russia's Channel One, for example, has been airing coronavirus conspiracy theories on its prime-time evening news show Vremya (meaning "Time"). In one segment, the host links the virus to US President Donald Trump, and claims that US intelligence agencies or pharmaceutical companies are behind it...

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Please retweet: TY @DrTedros "People must have access to accurate information to protect themselves and others" Yes! @HIFA_org works with @WHO and others to achieve #healthinfo4all - critical not only for #coronavirus but for *every* aspect of health #SDGs #UHC www.hifa.org/joinhifa

https://twitter.com/hifa_org/status/1226482912138350592

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil AT hifa.org