‘Infodemic’ hit Slovakia as well

Fear and uncertainty are fertile ground for spreading of false content and conspiracies.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR/AP)

Gargle warm salty water twice a day and drink a few sips of the water every 15 minutes. When the coronavirus gets into your mouth, drinking water and other liquids will flush it down to your stomach. Once there, your gastric acid will kill all the viruses.

This is the advice that inhabitants of the western-Slovak village of Brunovce received on a leaflet in their mailboxes, the Denník N daily reported. Mayor Stanislava Zervanová wanted to give the approximately 500 inhabitants of her village some guide to follow as prevention from getting infected.

Related story:Masks will be obligatory, new measures mainly aimed at the elderly Read more 

On her leaflet, verified information like washing hands, maintaining social distance and avoiding ill people was coupled with disinformation.

Zervanová, the only mayor in Slovakia elected as a candidate of the far right People's Party - Our Slovakia (LSNS), would not be the first, neither the last person tricked by a hoax about the new type of coronavirus.

As scientists, doctors and other experts are still researching the new type of coronavirus, many remain confused and unable to distinguish between verified news and hoaxes; especially at a time when disinformation is disseminating on social media in so-called alternative media outlets.

“Hoaxes about Covid-19 virus are easy to spread and resonate among citizens because people live with this topic and it has a real impact on their lives. There is a risk they can get infected or succumb to the infection,” Katarína Klingová, a researcher with the non-governmental organisation Globsec, told The Slovak Spectator.

“Fear and uncertainty are fertile ground for spreading false content and conspiracies,” she added.

Infodemic

A recent European Commission report stated that the Russian media have deployed a “significant disinformation campaign” against the West to worsen the impact of the coronavirus, generate panic and sow distrust, the Reuters newswire cited.

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