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US News Coronavirus: Fake news crackdown after 'terrifying' post bans parents going with children to hospital

17:50  30 march  2020
17:50  30 march  2020 Source:   uk.news.yahoo.com

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a person sitting on a bed: Mother putting mask on daughter Mother putting mask on daughter

A viral post terrifying parents into believing they will not be able to stay with children who display symptoms of coronavirus has been exposed as a hoax.

The post, which has been shared thousands of times across social media, read: "Biggest wake up call ever. If your child gets this virus, they're going to hospital alone in a van with people they don't know to a room they don’t know to be with people they don't know.

“You will be at home without them in their time of need. Think about it, stay in."

a close up of text on a white background: The viral post terrifies parents that they can't accompany sick children to hospital © Provided by Yahoo! News UK The viral post terrifies parents that they can't accompany sick children to hospital

Celebrities including Kerry Katona and Rochelle Humes shared the post, with Katona writing: “PLEASE STAY AT HOME!!!!!!!!!!! I was sent this which has scared the sh** out of me but I tell you what I know I’m not leaving my house! I’m a mother of 5 my anxiety is through the roof’!

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“I haven’t posted this to scare people but seeing pics of bloody idiots in groups sunbathing it feels people are still not getting what it going on! Please stay safe everyone sending you all love and light.”

Katona’s post has now been flagged by Instagram as containing false information.

Gallery: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters by WHO (Photos)

Gillian Johnston is a mum-of-two from Buckinghamshire. She told Yahoo News UK: “I read the post and it terrified me. It freaked me out so much I kept bursting into tears. Parents have enough to worry about at the moment without extra scaremongering.”

Jackie Wilson saw the post on her Facebook page and said: “However well intentioned, this horrifies me - and I’m compliant. Shaming and instilling fear is not acceptable, whatever the motives.”

The scam is just one of multiple ‘fake news’ stories that has spread across social media during the coronavirus outbreak. But the government are determined to set the record straight and clamp down on “fake news”.

a close up of a sign: London Ambulance Service vehicles are seen outside the ExCeL London exhibition centre in London on March 27, 2020, that is being transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital to help with the coronavirus outbreak. - Britain on March 24 said it will open a 4,000-bed field hospital at a London exhibition centre to treat coronavirus cases in the latest measure to tackle the outbreak after the government ordered a nationwide lockdown. The British health secretary told a news conference the temporary hospital, to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital, would open at the ExCeL centre in east London with two wards each with a capacity for 2,000 people. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News UK London Ambulance Service vehicles are seen outside the ExCeL London exhibition centre in London on March 27, 2020, that is being transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital to help with the coronavirus outbreak. - Britain on March 24 said it will open a 4,000-bed field hospital at a London exhibition centre to treat coronavirus cases in the latest measure to tackle the outbreak after the government ordered a nationwide lockdown. The British health secretary told a news conference the temporary hospital, to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital, would open at the ExCeL centre in east London with two wards each with a capacity for 2,000 people. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Tory MP Damian Collins warned against sharing coronavirus-related “fake news” as he launched an online service to combat falsehoods during the pandemic.

The former chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media And Sport (DCMS) Select Committee called for knowingly peddling misinformation related to the Covid-19 outbreak to be made an offence.

Collins has partnered with Infotagion, a free-to-access website, which allows members of the public to post screenshots of coronavirus-related information they have received online.

A team organised by Collins – who led the Government investigation into disinformation and fake news – will check what users submit against official sources and give traffic light answers on whether it is true or false.

He said: “Lots of the debate around fake news has been in the political context, around election campaigning, but here we are seeing it in a public health crisis.

“In some ways, this is the first public health crisis in the age of social media disinformation, and therefore it requires a different response.”

Damian Collins in a suit and tie: LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Damian Collins MP poses for photographs during the Sport Industry Breakfast Club on March 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images). (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News UK LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Damian Collins MP poses for photographs during the Sport Industry Breakfast Club on March 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images). (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

The Conservative MP said it should be an offence for someone to “knowingly and maliciously spread disinformation” that could be harmful to public health.

“I think [it] should be an offence to do that, and should be an offence for social media companies not to take that content down,” he said.

The service, in collaboration with media and technology company Iconic Labs, will provide users with links to trusted information sources, such as the World Health Organisation, or official Government guidance.

A parent or appropriate adult can accompany a child and an immediate family member or carer can visit a person receiving end of life care.

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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