Coronavirus: Spreading fake news now holds prison sentence, fine

Coronavirus: Spreading fake news now holds prison sentence, fine

- Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has introduced new regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus

- This includes stringent new rules concerning the spread of fake news and misinformation

- Citizens could face a prison sentence for sharing misleading or false information

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COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has gazetted new regulations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Included in these new rules are regulations that could see citizens imprisoned for six months or fined for spreading fake news about the outbreak.

This will hopefully end the string of false claims surrounding the virus, which have been flooding social media and creating general confusion in the process. reported that one such claim had been that citizens should remain indoors on Thursday to avoid chemicals being sprayed by helicopters.

This snippet had been spread by thousands of people with fear created for the sake of the poster's amusement.

READ ALSO: Fact Check: No, helicopters won't be spraying against the coronavirus

In addition to this, regulations over essential resources to fight the pandemic were released:

“[This is to ensure] the delivery of essential services, as may be required, to prevent, limit, contain, combat and manage the spread of the virus."

People who are suspected of having contracted the virus, or who have recently made contact with someone who tested positive for it, may not refuse testing, treatment, isolation and quarantine.

Dlamini-Zuma noted the early closure of schools and partial care facilities, revealing that this time frame may be extended for the duration of the national disaster, reports The Citizen.

Visits to members of the public to correctional centres, remand detention facilities, holding cells, military detention facilities and Department of Social Development facilities, including child and youth care centres, shelters, one-stop centres and treatment centres have been suspended.

This suspension will be in place for 30 days and may also be extended for the duration of the outbreak.

The regulations have also set a limit on alcoholic beverages, as detailed below:

“All registered or licensed on-consumption liquor premises which can accommodate, including taverns, restaurants and clubs, must be closed with immediate effect, or must be limited to accommodate no more than 50 persons: Provided that adequate space is available and that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and limitation of exposure of persons with the Covid-19 virus are adhered to."

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