01:17 GMT04 March 2021
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    COVID-19 Puts Nations on Hold (286)

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Nations has launched a new online initiative to counter the spread of misinformation about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement on Tuesday.

    "Today, I am announcing a new United Nations communications response initiative to flood the internet with facts and science while countering the growing scourge of misinformation, a poison that is putting even more lives at risk", Guterres said.

    He noted that while the world is responding to the most challenging crisis since the Second World War and fighting the pandemic, the global "misinfodemic" is spreading globally, infecting the Internet with dangerous health advice, conspiracy theories, hatred and falsehoods about COVID-19.

    To slow down the spread of misinformation, social media corporations must do more to "root out" hate and wrongful assertions about the virus. At the same time, institutions need to show responsible, evidence-based governance and leadership, Guterres said.

    "Together, let’s reject the lies and nonsense out there", he added.

    According to Johns Hopkins University, COVID-19 has infected over 1.9 million people worldwide and claimed at least 121,897 lives.

    COVID-19 Puts Nations on Hold (286)
    misinformation, coronavirus, COVID-19, Antonio Guterres, United Nations
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