• Friday, Aug 07, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:25 am

ED: Misinformation can be deadly

  • Published at 07:14 pm July 10th, 2020
Mask medicine Covid-19
Photo: BIGSTOCK

Law enforcement must ensure that anyone found responsible for spreading misinformation or selling unproven treatments is prosecuted

The Covid-19 pandemic is devastating enough as it is with over half a million deaths worldwide, of which over 175,000 of them are from Bangladesh alone, landing us in 17th position in terms of total number of confirmed cases.

Unfortunately, the situation is being worsened in the country due to the spread of misinformation related to the virus, offering fake and unverified cures and treatments.

This could be potentially catastrophic for the nation as people are lulled into a false sense of security, causing them to disregard health directives such as practicing social distancing and wearing masks, leaving them vulnerable to the virus.

That is not all -- some of these “DIY” treatments could, in fact, cause grave harm and even death, since they are unvetted by medical professionals, and could potentially contain life-threatening ingredients.

Since most Covid-19 patients recover naturally (around 85% in Bangladesh), this has falsely convinced a significant portion of the population to believe that these fake cures and treatments are effective, allowing for such misinformation to spread with renewed veracity.

As of now, there is no proven cure for the coronavirus and authorities would do well to ensure that the public are made aware of this crucial fact before more people put themselves unknowingly in harm’s way.

This is just another example of criminals taking advantage of a vulnerable situation, and law enforcement must ensure that anyone found responsible for spreading misinformation or selling unproven treatments is prosecuted.

There is still much we do not know about Covid-19 and how it functions. As such, it is especially important that massive awareness campaigns are conducted to kill the spread of misinformation and ensure that citizens are following the health directives necessary for controlling this pandemic. 

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