UAE detains two for 'spreading false rumours' about five Covid deaths in a family
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UAE detains two for ‘spreading false rumours’ about five Covid deaths in a family

UAE detains two for ‘spreading false rumours’ about five Covid deaths in a family

Authorities have warned of strict action against anyone found spreading false and inaccurate information related to the coronavirus

UAE Covid-19

Two individuals have been detained in the UAE on charges of spreading false rumours about the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two were held by the Public Prosecution for a “fabricated” story broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, which claimed five members of a UAE family died due to the coronavirus.

“The incident that was broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports Channel is false and fabricated, the family does not exist and the story is completely fictitious made up by the first accused individual,” the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced on Tuesday, citing the Public Prosecution.

“The channel’s correspondent, who is the second accused individual, contradicted his professional work duties and did not contact the relevant authorities to verify the accuracy of the information provided to him.”

An investigation around the incident is underway to clarify “the situation and elements of what was published and the real motives behind the crime, the entities involved and people behind it”, NCEMA said.

“The Public Prosecutor has ordered the preventive detention of the aforementioned individuals pending investigation, in order to ensure the integrity of the investigation procedures,” it added.

Officials said the incident has affected the public, leaving people “in a state of confusion and fear around the outbreak of the disease, all based on inaccurate information”.

The NCMEA said monitoring, following-up and coordinating with the authorities is an ongoing process and is carried out in less than 48 hours. Any inaccurate information is then corrected and communicated and the necessary measures are taken.

All those negligent in following the national protocol for the dissemination and exchange of information in the media and social networks related to Covid-19 will be held accountable, it warned.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, social media platforms have been “flooded with rumours and inaccurate information”, which has added another layer in the fight against the new pandemic.

The national media has played an important role in correcting the course, authorities stated.

“We count on our partners in the national media to verify all information in order to not negatively affect the security of society, and to ensure full focus on the efforts to confront the Covid-19 crisis,” NCEMA said.

Authorities stressed that they will take stringent action against those found spreading false and inaccurate information related to the coronavirus.

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