Educationist and Social Commentator, Mr. George Akom has stated that Ghanaians should not use the outbreak of the new coronavirus officially called SARS-CoV-2 that causes the disease termed as COVID- 2019 to cause more fear and panic through prank information.
He added that since the outbreak of the disease in December 2019 in China, which has been declared pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been several information going around on social media outlets of varied forms, images, videos, audio, text and even snapshots to inform citizens about the disease and its consequences.
He emphasized that some of these information even create fun, fear and panic causing more dangers to the emotions of citizens than the purpose of educating and providing precautionary measures against the disease.
He continued that some of the information on the disease does not conform to the health standards as put out by recognized health and allied institutions mandated to do so to educate the public about the outbreak and precautionary steps to be taken to avoid further spread and contracting of the virus.
Many are people are capitalizing on the outbreak of the COVID – 19 to cause more fear and panic through prank information to the general public for reasons known to them. We should be serious about the pandemic rather than making fun of it. People who create misinformation and disinformation about the disease must stop. Emotions of people could not be joked with.
Many could even die artificially from some of the threatened and fearful information they see and hear from media platforms and outlets. We should rather use our communications to encourage and expose them to the precautionary measure and its adherence, Mr. Akom charged. He iterated that there have been several communications that have come out purportedly to educate the general public about the pandemic; citizens must be circumspect and seek for authentication if the information were from right expertise and professional bodies sources before they adhere to any guidelines regarding precautionary measures against the disease.
He bemoaned about how some people accept any viral information they come across on media platforms and outlets without subjecting such information to any journalistic filter, which eventually could cause future problems for them.
Mr. George Akom who is also an Assistant Registrar of the Ghana Technology University College advised that citizens, more particularly Ghanaians, should adhere to all the generic precautionary measures instituted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other location- based precautionary guidelines to avoid the spread and contracting of the disease. He further added that Ghanaians should not based on superstitions and other faiths to comprise on some of these guidelines for precautions to cause more danger to other citizens. He opined that some of the guidelines are very simple to do, such as, regular hand washing, avoiding handshakes and mouth cover during sneezing, and should not be taken for granted.
He continued that citizens should not use unapproved methodologies in place of those ones given out by professionals and experts to prevent the spread of the disease of which some unapproved ones and self- intuition approaches could be dangerous for future health implications.
He advised once again that Ghanaians should check and verify information from the website put out by the government for regular updates on the disease and not solely rely on prank and misinformation from individuals and public domain since the outbreak is a concern to all.