Government says irresponsible coverage of the coronavirus crisis is triggering unnecessary fear and panic which could be a bigger risk to Malawi than the virus itself.
Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology, Mark Bottoman said this on Thursday in Blantyre during an interface meeting he had with media managers s and telecommunication companies.
Botomani said while there is no doubt that the outbreak is scary because of the uncertainty associated with its consequences for countries around the world, sensational media coverage can contribute to cultivating fear and panic.
He said it was important to spread awareness of the coronavirus so individuals could take actions that might protect themselves “as well as society”.
“May I call upon media managers to complement government’s efforts by encouraging your reporters to write stories that will tell how serious the disease is? This will help in making people see the need to follow preventative and protective measures.
“There is a lot of sensational news on Covid-19 in the country which media managers must discourage,” he said.
Bottoman then requested Chief Executive Officers from telecommunication companies in the country to help government in the preparedness drive.
“As part of social responsibility, you could assist in disseminating information on the disease through your mobile networks,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer for Airtel Malawi, Charles Kamoto said much as they were business oriented, they were government partners as such have a responsibility to support government efforts in curbing the Coronavirus.
“In response to governments call to observe preventative measures, almost 50 percent of our staff are working from home.
“Our ‘Chipatala cha pa foni’ is active so that people can utilize it to get help on all issues pertaining to Covid-19 on a call free basis,” he said.
As of Wednesday, April 1 2020, there were over 860, 000 people infected with the virus world over with 44, 000 deaths.
Covid-19 was first reported in Wuhan City in China on December 31, 2020 but has since spread to all the continents.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :