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COVID-19: Fake news, prank calls to be criminalized – Oppong Nkrumah

Fake news, prank calls to be criminalized – Oppong Nkrumah
Fake news, prank calls to be criminalized – Oppong Nkrumah

Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has given an indication that any acts that would seek to jeopardize the government’s effort at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 would be severely punished under applicable sanctions.

He says examples would soon be made of persons who propagate fake news and place prank calls to the COVID-19 emergency response number 112 to serve as a deterrent to others.

“Where we are getting to, we will punish a couple of people; particularly for fake news”, he said in an interview and referred to a video circulating on social media and broadcast by a prominent TV station showing some soldiers in which a narrator claimed that they had been sent to Kumasi by the president to beat up residents as a measure of enforcing the partial lockdown of that city.

The Ofoase-Ayirebi MP also said that, “whatever that has the tendency of compromising this exercise would not go unpunished, because our efforts would go to naught if we continue to take those things lightly; so where sanctions are applicable on the face, I know we will make examples out of a few people”.

In the wake growing cases of the COVID-19 in Ghana, the minister also lamented the abuse of the emergency response number 112 by prank callers and reiterated a new measure of blocking such phone numbers.

He also urged the public to make their medical and travel history readily available to health officials in order that they would not be unsuspectingly exposed to the disease through their duties of giving care.

He narrated how a medical officer unbeknownst, in his bid to save a life, performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an unconscious patient who had rushed to the hospital and it later turned out that the patient had COVID-19.

Mr oppong Nkrumah said the family members who sent the unconscious patient to the hospital would not divulge his travel or medical history to medical officials until the situation got out of hands; it turned out that he had traveled into the country from an affected country; he told Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM on Monday morning.