AfriForum: State should now release accurate, timeous information on COVID-19
27 March 2020
The civil rights organisation AfriForum warned government today to release accurate and timeous information on CIVD-19 during the national lockdown.
Dr Eugene Brink, Spokesperson for Health at AfriForum, says that the state was slow in regularly updating information. “After the figures were released on Wednesday morning, new figures were only released on Thursday evening. We demand that timeous release of figures so that the public can know how the fight against the disease is progressing.
“The lockdown is an enormous and unprecedented collective sacrifice that will hit people’s pockets and lives in a hard way and leave no sector unaffected. The least the state can do, is to keep the public honestly informed of exactly how many cases and deaths there are and where these occur, as well as what is done to prevent and curb the spread of the virus. The government may not withhold no information that the public should be aware of.”
According to Brink, responsibility was not suspended at all, and half-truths must also be avoided. “Only the whole truth and transparency will prevent the spread of fake news, the public from becoming anxious in uncertain times and that false rumours arise that create panic. It will also ensure that the lockdown is carried through and ended timeously.”
The public is encouraged at the same time not to blithely accept and spread information on COVID-19 as the truth. “Many rumours and fake news abound and may even increase. On the other hand, AfriForum updates the public continuously through our website and social media platforms with information and reliable advice that are verified by experts,” Brink concludes.
Issued by Hesti Steenkamp, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 27 March 2020