Public urged to take part in COVID-19 screening and ignore fake news

Office of the Premier 08/04/2020 - 11:18



Thembisa Shologu

Department of Health has assured Gauteng residents that the screening and testing of COVID-19 by its teams would not expose anyone to the virus in any way.

This follows misleading information and fake news from unreliable news sources, which purported to share valuable insights on Covid-19.

"Today our screening and testing teams have had to plead with community members, who refused to take part in the screening and testing drive due to a misleading video which has gone viral.

"We wish to state categorically that this is not true and we can assure the public that the screening and testing will not expose anyone to Covid-19, in any way," said department's Spokesperson, Kwara Kekana.

In the video, the public is misled not to agree to being tested, because, the swabs which would be used for the tests are allegedly contaminated with Covid-19.

"It should be noted that anyone that creates or spreads fake news about Covid-19 is liable for prosecution. We urge members of the public to verify information before distributing it to others," said Kekana.

Community health care workers in Gauteng working with multiple stakeholders are currently undertaking a large-scale community testing and screening programme aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.

"We urge the public to take Covid-19 seriously. Over a million people globally have tested positive for the virus, and thousands have lost their lives, including 12 in our country," she said. 

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