As world governments continue to grapple with the dire situation concerning the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in their respective jurisdictions, the Middle East is also facing arising issues concerning the situation.
The Kuwaiti government on Wednesday (March 11) has announced that it will not tolerate people who spread rumors related to coronavirus, which caused panic among citizens and expatriates.
Spreading Fake News on COVID-19 Can Get You Sued by the Government
The Ministries of Interior and Information earlier this week has already filed lawsuits against those who take part or actively propagate the spread of fake news relating to the coronavirus, which has caused panic among citizens and residents in the country, as shared in a report by KUNA.
Accordingly, the Ministry spares no efforts to combat the spread of misinformation about CoVID-19. At this point, security authorities are closely monitoring everything and keeping an eye on social media for fake news.
In line with this, the Ministry of Information will enforce strict actions against those who spread rumors to counter false and inaccurate claims around the coronavirus, amid concerns Kuwaitis and expats are being deceived on social media.
Since news has erupted that there are already confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Middle East, the scourge of fake news on coronavirus is spreading on social media platforms. Several fake claims have appeared online, including that a vaccine has already been found, and that tonic water can help cure the virus.
In line with this, the government has already announced that strict measures will be taken against those posting misleading messages, as well as those who spread such news by retweeting or forwarding such posts to others on Facebook or any other social media.
For his part, Deputy Premier, Minister of Interior and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh said: “We will not tolerate those who spread rumors and they will be held accountable.”
Al-Saleh also cited that last week, the Ministry of Interior had announced that “it will track all those who spread rumors and indeed the ministries of interior and information filed lawsuits against persons behind rumors,” he confirmed.
He added that this is a concerning matter as baseless rumors are undermining health security and cause panic among the public.
Al-Saleh also noted that the suspension of work in government and private sectors was at the request of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“This decision aims at minimizing gatherings of people for two weeks, the time of incubation of the virus,” Al-Saleh explained.
Also, Al-Saleh regretted the fact that some people were not abiding by home quarantine rules, and they would be penalized.
The minister, meanwhile, played down fears about food shortages and emphasized the food quantity was enough.
Furthermore, the government has also called on all residents to stay in their homes and leave only if necessary.
This update comes in light of the announcement that parks, beaches, walking paths, and other public spaces have been closed to the public until further notice in the country.