Menace worse than COVID-19: Pampanga police fight fake news on social media
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Police in Pampanga province spent Tuesday (April 14) on social media to counter fake news reports that public markets, grocery and drug stores would be shut down starting on April 15.
The hoax triggered another round of panic-buying starting on Monday (April 13), according to Col. Jean Fajardo, Pampanga police director.
“We recorded a heavy volume of people flocking the streets going to markets, grocery stores, banks and remittance centers,” Fajardo said in a text message.
The panic reaction, borne by the evils of social media, defeated the purpose of social and physical distancing that authorities were enforcing to stop COVID-19 transmission, she said.
What is real, Fajardo said, was the continued lockdown in Pampanga since March 27 which was the result of violations of enhanced community quarantine ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to keep the disease from spreading.
“We clearly reiterate then that while we will implement stricter border control in the province, markets, groceries, drug stores and other essential services shall remain open to cater to the day-to-day needs of the public,” said the Pampanga police chief.
Fajardo also went live on Facebook to “allay the fears” of residents. “I appeal to [everyone] not to believe everything they see and read on social media,” she said.
Edited by TSB
For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.