NEWS: Residents of Verulam, north of Durban and surrounds are in a state of panic as a Whatsapp message has gone viral claiming that two prominent Verulam businessmen have been infected with the deadly coronavirus.
The Facebook-owned chat messenger network has been a source for a series of fake messages being shared across groups and one-on=one chats relating to the coronavirus. This is just one of the fake whatsapp messages that are being shared with residents in and around the areas of Verulam.
Two prominent Verulam businessmen have been mentioned to have contracted the coronavirus however this is fake news.
Those individuals who are identified sharing fake news could face a term of six months in jail for their crimes. The chat messenger network Whatsapp has asked its users to be aware of what content is being shared on their platform.
According to South Africa’s disaster regulations the distribution of fake news relating to the coronavirus pandemic with intent to deceive is already a crime. The regulations also demand that WhatsApp and internet service providers must “immediately” remove fake news from their platforms.
Other fake whatsapp messages you may have seen
- A WhatsApp message that claims a Mumbai-based homeopath has the remedy to prevent coronavirus.
- Another message that tells you the virus can stay in the air for 8 hours.
- And yet another message that says saline water, garlic water, turmeric, and even rasam can cure you of the virus.
South Africans are into the first week of what is be known as one of the strictest lockdowns that have been imposed anywhere in the world.Citizens have been banned from jogging outside, a complete ban on sale of alcohol & cigarettes, pet owners are also not allowed to walk their pets and with only essential trips allowed to purchase food and seek medical attention. Those who violate these government restrictions will face prison time and fines,
Don’t be a Covidiot, do not share unverified news. Also stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.