Authorities dismiss as hoax Facebook post on death of volunteers at COVID-19 hospital

first_imgThe post, which also featured purported photos of the two, was later taken down, but a screengrab of the Facebook post has since been circulating through other social media platforms, including Twitter.Human rights activists Nursyahbani Katjasungkana reposted the screenshot of the Facebook post on her Twitter account on Wednesday.Jika relawan saja tdk memperoleh perlindungan yg cukup, trus gimana pak Menkes? pic.twitter.com/x64AGu8SvZ— Nursyahbani K (@kicaunuri) April 1, 2020The head of the makeshift hospital’s COVID-19 task force, commander Brig. Gen. Agung Hermawanto, said authorities had not received any report regarding the information.”We currently have approximately 300 volunteers working at the emergency hospital, and so far, we have received no report on the death of volunteers,” Agung told The Jakarta Post. Authorities have dismissed as a hoax a rumor that two volunteers at Jakarta’s makeshift hospital for COVID-19 in the Kemayoran athletes village had died after contracting the coronavirus disease.The information began with a post on a Facebook account set up under the name Andriana Nova Grantina, in which the apparent account holder said her senior, named Sia Ai Hung, and the latter’s sister, Sia Ai, had died of COVID-19 on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.”Both of them were volunteers at the Kemayoran athletes village emergency hospital,” said the post published on Wednesday. Echoing Agung, the Joint Defense Area Command I commander Vice Adm. Yudo Margono said the information was a hoax.”We have checked the information through the BPPSDM’s [Board for Development and Empowerment Human Health Resources] database, and there are no volunteers under the names [Sia Ai Hung and Sia Ai] in the athlete village’s emergency hospital,” Yudo Margono told the Post.Yudo also assured the public that any information related to the makeshift hospital would be directly reported to him, so there would not be any missing information on the situation in the field.He went on to deplore circulating “fake news” regarding the hospital in social media in recent days.Read also: Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmareLast week, information purportedly telling people how to get into the emergency hospital at the Kemayoran athletes village through a designated doctor’s phone number was also circulating on social media, and later turned out to be a hoax.Jakarta Military Command chief Maj. Gen. Eko Margiyono, who has been appointed to lead the operation of the makeshift hospital, has also spoken out against circulating hoaxes, calling on residents to trust the government’s information and advice in the battle against COVID-19.”I demand that whoever is making such hoaxes stop their actions, as it will only make the situation worse,” Eko said as quoted by news agency Antara on March 26.He also advised people to not panic over information circulating on social media and reassured the public that the hospital was properly equipped with supporting facilities, including a safe-handling service and self-quarantine facility.Jakarta Police spokesperson Yusri Yunus said that 43 hoaxes regarding COVID-19 were under police investigation and had resulted in the arrest of seven suspects so far, all of whom were charged under the 2016 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, kompas.com reported.Since it began operations last week, the makeshift hospital at the athletes village has treated some 428 patients, 111 of whom have tested positive for COVID-19. The hospital has also reported three deaths of patients suspected to have contracted COVID-19.As of Wednesday afternoon, Indonesia has confirmed 1,677 coronavirus cases with 157 fatalities, making the country’s mortality rate of 9.3 percent among the highest in the world. (nal)Topics :last_img

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