Johor official urges public not to trust unverified info on Wuhan virus

An information board about the ‘Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV’ is pictured at the assessment centre of the Frankfurt Airport Medical Centre in Frankfurt January 31, 2020. — Reuters pic
An information board about the ‘Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV’ is pictured at the assessment centre of the Frankfurt Airport Medical Centre in Frankfurt January 31, 2020. — Reuters pic

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JOHOR BARU, Feb 5 — A Johor official said the public should only use official sources of information on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

Johor Housing, Communication and Multimedia Committee chairman Dzulkelfy Ahmad said the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC) Sebenarnya.my portal was one such source.

He added that the state Information Department was also carrying out its “Info On Wheels” (IOW) programme to provide details about the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

“This includes handing out pamphlets and also information about preparation and responses to avoid the spread of the virus,” said Dzulkefly in a statement today.

Dzulkefly, who is also the Kota Iskandar assemblyman, said 52 IOW events have been carried out by the Johor Information Department throughout the state.

“This programme is also a step forward in curbing the spread of fake news by irresponsible quarters,” he said.

Dzulkefly urged Johor’s 138 Harapan Malaysia Community to work with the department by giving out pamphlets at shopping malls, bus terminals, markets and other public areas.

He also cautioned the public not to spread fake news about the coronavirus as this was a criminal offence.

“The MCMC have detained a total of 12 individuals nationwide over posting fake news on the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

“So far, the MCMC and police have received and investigated some 36 cases of fake news on the matter,” said Dzulkefly.

He added that the cases are being investigated under Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 while police have classified the case under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code.

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