By: Kebba AF Touray/Hatab Nyang
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), has frowned on what it described as the publication of misleading information or ‘fake news’ relating to COVID-19 by certain unscrupulous individuals.
A press statement from the NDMA said it has come to their attention that some people are publishing information which in some cases are unfounded and cautioned the general public to desist from such practices.
This, the Agency said, contravenes Section 125 of the NDMA Act of 2008 which states:
“A person who without lawful authority, makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to a threatening disaster situation or disaster or its severity or magnitude leading to panic, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand dalasi or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both the fine and imprisonment”; that the Agency wishes to encourage Gambians and non-Gambians alike, to contact the Ministry of Health if they have concerns or information in relation to the virus, or to listen to Media houses whose task is to disseminate reliable and factual information about the Corona Virus.
“We therefore wish to solicit the cooperation of the general public,” the release concludes.
In a similar but separate development and in support of the national effort to curb the potential spread of the Corona virus, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will from Monday 29th March 2020, suspend all visits to its office until further notice, by anyone who wishes to lodge a complaint.
The NHRC said in their Press Release that they will be available to receive complaints by phone calls, emails or through their website.