Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna has stated that spreading lies and rumours about Coronavirus will most likely lead to an arrest after being tracked down.
Oguna has indicated that it is a criminal offence to spread malicious statements through social and digital channels as it might warrant to a fine of Sh5million.
For instance, according to the Computer and Cyber Crimes Act, propagating fake news and hate speech warrants a Sh5 million fine, a two-year jail term or both.
“It is criminal to spread such malicious and alarmist statements through social and digital channels. These fake and alarmist rumours have been forwarded to the cybercrime unit and DCI for investigation, arrest and prosecution of the authors and this spreading the same,” Oguna is quoted.
Oguna has also refuted claims that there are cases of Covid-19 reported in the country adding that the alleged alerts at the Kenyatta National Hospital and Mbagathi County Hospital were fake.
He has established that all government communication in regards to the Coronavirus would be addressed by the Health Cabinet Secretary, the Government Spokesperson or persons appointed to take over the role.
This was in response to a video clip circulated on social media where a government official was captured confirming a case of Coronavirus at Mbagathi Hospital.
According to the Star, the clip was not fake rather it was captured during a drill for the officials attached to the Ministry of Health.
“The audio being shared was part of a simulation exercise during the crisis communication trining on Covid-19 in Machakos county over the weekend,” the Ministry of Health said.
Kindly ignore the audio recording circulating on social media on corona virus. @KNH_hospital IDU staff and Mgt are currently at Mbagathi Hospital setting up the Isolation Centre. We assure the public that there is no case of COVID-19 in this facility.@kamurie1 @HezekielGikambi
— Kenyatta National Hospital (@KNH_hospital) March 2, 2020
So far, at least 44 new coronavirus deaths were announced in China bringing to over 3,000 as the number of fatalities nationwide.
In Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria have confirmed their first incidences, with the patients isolated.