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Wednesday Jul 08 2020

NCOC forms body to stop spread of COVID-19 misinformation on social media

The decision was taken during NCOC meeting chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative Asad Umar. Photo: Geo.Tv/File

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday constituted a committee under Minister for Interior retired Brig Ejaz Ahmed Shah to prevent the spread of misinformation and fake news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic on social media.

The decision was taken during an NCOC meeting chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and attended by Brig Shah, focal person for COVID-19 Dr Faisal Sultan, and other senior officials.

The committee will prepare a legal framework to prevent and counter the spread of misinformation and will also suggest actions against those involved in propagating the fake news about the contagious disease.

Also read: Misinformation regarding COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself: UN

Representatives from ministries of Information and Broadcasting, National Health Regulation, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), and other related departments will be part of the committee.

The first meeting of the committee is slated to happen in a few days to finalise modalities and measures for preventing false information regarding the rampant virus.

Moreover, the NCOC panel was apprised that the United Nations (UN) has also made an appeal to stop the spread of coronavirus disinformation while launching a global campaign named 'pause'.

The meeting also reviewed comprehensive death data analysis, studied the Epi Curve Chart (used to visualise the onset of a disease outbreak), and discussed a provincial visit of the NCOC team.

Speaking on the occasion, Asad Umar stated that the NCOC would visit all provincial headquarters, besides holding meetings, in order to further enhance coordination between NCOC and provinces.

Directing the preparation of a comprehensive schedule in this regard, the minister said that the government would change the current crisis into an opportunity to bring further improvement in the health sector of the country.