Social media users in Ghana have been advised to disregard information being posted on the novel Coronavirus by some celebrities including Kalybos, Zynnell Zuh and Jessica Larny with UNICEF logo.
This appeal was made by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which said such information was false and never came from the respected global organisation.
Confirming this to NewsGhana, a Communications Manager from UNICEF indicated that the information is not from the organization, neither is it factual or correct.
Meanwhile UNICEF, according to its Communications Manager, never requested or contracted anyone to share such “erroneous posts.”
“UNICEF certainly did not request these people sharing it to post on their profiles. UNICEF did not request anyone to share these erroneous posts. They are not accurate,” it said.
The fake notice with a UNICEF logo dated March 4, 2020 has been circulating on social media in different countries and with these celebrities sharing it to their followers.
Per those “erroneous” posts, these celebrities claim avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease.
But according to UNICEF, “the information is of course, wholly untrue. The other frivolous claims, which have been refuted by scientists worldwide, are that “any mask prevents its entry” because the corona virus is a large cell side and that drinking hot water and sun exposure will kill the virus.”
Information on UNICEF website, however, explained that “Sharing inaccurate information and attempting to imbue it without authority…is dangerous and wrong”.
It is believed that the combined number of followers who may have viewed the said post on Instagram or Facebook accounts is around 2.5 million people.
In Ghana, however, social media personalities are therefore urged to remove any mention of the “fake UNICEF notice” and ensure that any information disseminated comes from an official website (www.unicef.org/ghana) and verified sources.
UNICEF therefore averred that in this period of panic and confusions, social media followers should also seek formal guidance on COVID-19 prevention from more educated and accountable news sources.
The misinformation was noticed on the “Adventures of Kalybos” Facebook stories, Richard Asante’s Instagram stories (under user kalybos1) over the past weekend, Zynell Zuh’s Instragram post on March 22 and in a video post on Jessica Larny’s Instagram account on March 17, 2020.
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