Gov’t urged to provide daily update on Coronavirus
By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
A civil society group has urged the government to give daily update on information concerning the status of the coronavirus in the country to avoid rumors and misinformation.
The activist said the civil population was overwhelmed by circulating rumors on social media and offline that do not guarantee substantial information on coronavirus because of the failure by the government to give accurate information.
Speaking during Youth Organizations Press Conference on Wednesday in Juba Ms. Christine Kide, the Chairperson of the coalition said they were worried that the rumors were fast spreading than the real information expected at this period.
“Information is not easily flowing when we expected the real information to be coming from the Ministry of Health and the head of the Taskforce. The Taskforce keeps on releasing orders and updates on the tasks but the information is not reaching the grassroots. So the grassroots are just receiving rumors,” she explained.
Ms. Kide said the government should come out clearly and clear the ground for the people to know what was ongoing.
“They have the resources. They should come down to the people. They have health centers and PHCC at the level of the communities. So what is difficult if these people are facilitated to teach and train the local people on how to handle this situation of COVID-19,” she wondered.
Peter Malir Biar, Executive Director of Christian Agency for Peace and Development (CAPaD) said that there was need for the Ministry of Health to urgently constitute professional counseling committee that would deal with all COVID-19 suspected cases under quarantine.
“This will reduce on the level of psychological trauma, stigma and encourage people to voluntarily test,” Biar stated.
Augustino Deng Alier, the Coordinator of the Youth Organizations coalition mentioned that the coronavirus issue was not a matter of secrecy but information articulation.
“This disease has no secret. There is need for us to share information and be opened to the public to ensure that the civil population has information and the air is cleared from rumors,” she stressed.
According to Alier, the rumors circulating about the coronavirus alone were already killing the population silently.
He asked the Minister of Health to regularly feed the civil population with more reliable news on daily basis.
“We expected the minister everyday to come on air and make statement like what her counterpart in Kampala is doing. She does it everyday so it makes it easier for people to cease away from the rumors,” Alier said.
The High Level Taskforce on the coronavirus should focus on what the civil population wanted to acquire, Alier added.
“We are only hearing that every evening the High Level Taskforce normally give statement that we don’t have yet a case but there are people who are already quarantined in their homes that we are not hearing anything about them,” he concluded.
The group also urged the High Level Taskforce on Coronavirus to strengthen and equip its medical isolation centers all over the country to respond effectively in case of COVID-19.