Singapore issues Pofma correction direction to Truth Warriors website over Covid-19 misinformation

The website is required to publish the correction notice at the top of each webpage containing the falsehoods, said the Ministry of Health in a statement on Saturday. — Screengrab of Truth Warriors website
The website is required to publish the correction notice at the top of each webpage containing the falsehoods, said the Ministry of Health in a statement on Saturday. — Screengrab of Truth Warriors website

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SINGAPORE, Oct 25 — The Truth Warriors website has been issued a correction direction for publishing materials that promote the efficacy of ivermectin in treating Covid-19 and cast doubt on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. 

The website is required to publish the correction notice at the top of each webpage containing the falsehoods, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement on Saturday (Oct 25). 

The Minister for Health has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue the notice, added MOH. 

“Many of the materials published on the Truth Warriors website mislead people into thinking that Covid-19 vaccines are not effective in reducing transmission rates of Covid-19, and promote the safety and efficacy of ivermectin in preventing viral infections and treating Covid-19,” said MOH. 

These materials are from “unverified and dubious sources” and individuals who heed the advice of the website can endanger themselves and the people around them, said the ministry. 

It added that the Government takes a serious view of the deliberate communication of these falsehoods and criminal investigations will be conducted.

MOH said the following were falsehoods on the Truth Warriors website: 

The most vaccinated countries have the most cases and deaths per million population and the least vaccinated countries have the fewest cases and deaths per million population 

Vaccines do not prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

MOH said that all these claims were false and that as of Oct 23, the weight of international evidence shows categorically that vaccines reduce Covid-19 infection, as well as serious illness and mortality rates. 

“The latest data does not support the claim that countries with the highest vaccination rates also have the highest cases/deaths per million population. While some countries with the lowest vaccination rates also have low reported Covid-19 deaths, this is likely due to poor record collection for both vaccinations and deaths,” it said. 

It added that while vaccines do not completely stop viral transmission, vaccines do reduce the risk of transmission as vaccinated persons are less likely to transmit the virus than unvaccinated persons. 

“Furthermore, while the vaccine on its own does not kill the virus, it is false to suggest that the effect of the vaccine on the immune system does not lead to the killing of the virus. The vaccines cause the body to produce antibodies and immune cells that act against the virus and, in effect, kill it,” explained MOH. 

As for the website’s claims that ivermectin prevents Covid-19 infection, and that it is safe and effective in treating Covid-19, even for pregnant women, MOH said that self-medicating with it can be dangerous. 

Ivermectin, it said, is a prescription-only medicine registered in Singapore specifically for the treatment of parasitic worm infections and not an anti-viral medicine. 

Side-effects include vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, neurologic adverse events (dizziness, seizures, confusion), sudden drop in blood pressure, severe skin rash potentially requiring hospitalisation, and liver injury (hepatitis). 

Ivermectin can also interact with other medications used, such as blood thinners, it said. 

MOH added that the website also shares user-collated and unverified data on suspected vaccine injuries in Singapore, citing the “SG Suspected Vaccine Injuries” Telegram chat as its source. 

“We advise members of the public not to speculate and/or spread misinformation which may cause public alarm, and to refer to credible sources of information instead,” it said. 

MOH urged the public to visit www.moh.gov.sg and www.hsa.gov.sg for the latest information on Covid-19 and Covid-19 vaccinations. — TODAY

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