WHO Outlines Framework to Fight Virus Misinformation

AKP Phnom Penh, April 16, 2020 —

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a four-point framework to combat misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement released in Geneva Wednesday, the WHO said “over-abundance of information … makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance.”

“It poses a serious problem for public health since people need this guidance to know what actions to take to protect themselves and others.”

The WHO said managing the pandemic and too much information required “swift, regular, coordinated action from multiple sectors of society and government.

“The timely translation of evidence into knowledge that people can use, adapted to their local cultures, languages and contexts, will continue to be crucial to fighting misinformation and saving lives,” it said.
The four principles of the framework are that:

— interventions and messages must be based on science and evidence;

— knowledge should be translated into actionable, behaviour-changing messages, presented in ways accessible to all sectors of all societies;

— governments should reach out to communities to understand their concerns and information needs to better tailor advice and messages to their audiences; and

— partnerships should be formed with social media, technology platforms and stakeholders including academia and civil society.

The UN agency said it developed the framework with a group of experts and 1,375 participants in a two-day online consultation last week.

COVID-19 is now spreading globally including in Cambodia even though it has reported no new infection cases for four days in a row. The 122 confirmed cases in Cambodia include 98 recoveries, or 80 percent of the total.

As of 2:00 am CEST on April 15, WHO members had reported 1,918,138 confirmed cases including 123,126 deaths. Europe had the most cases (977,596) followed by the U.S. (673,361), Western Pacific (124,207 including Cambodia), Eastern Mediterranean (110,091), South-East Asia (20,804) and Africa (11,367).

By Sao Da & Khan Sophirom