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Coronavirus: Spreading rumours in UAE could get you jailed, fined

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on March 8, 2020 | Last updated on March 9, 2020 at 05.36 am
coronavirus, covid-19, ministry of interior, rumours, false information

(Reuters)

Besides violating the law, people circulating such rumours in the country trigger fear and unnecessary panic among members of society.

Anyone spreading fake information and rumours on social media about coronavirus in the country will be punished according to the online law, the UAE Ministry of Interior (MoI) has warned, while urging people to act responsibly. Those violating online laws face jail sentences ranging from three years up to life in prison or fines that can reach up to Dh3 million, the authorities added.

Besides violating the law, people circulating such rumours exaggerating the number of cases of people infected with Covid-19 in the country trigger fear and unnecessary panic among members of society, they pointed out.

Over the past few days, several government, health and education institutions have come out to rubbish rumours of new cases of coronavirus after fake information circulated on the social media.

Last week, Zayed University in Abu Dhabi denied rumours that there was a case of coronavirus infection at the university and called on members of the public to refrain from spreading false information that may scare and rattle students and staff.

The ministry said information about coronavirus or cases of people confirmed infected with the virus has to be issued only by health authorities concerned.

People have been advised to adhere by general health guidelines and precautionary measures issued by the ministry of health and prevention.

The MoI officials have called on citizens and residents not to circulate unconfirmed details about the Covid-19, and to follow the social media channels for the official authorities, and the mainstream media for accurate information.

They have also warned that people convicted of violating online laws, including spreading fake news or information that can harm the society, face jail sentences ranging from three years up to life in prison or fines that can reach up to Dh3 million.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

Ismail Sebugwaawo


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