POLICE ONTO SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF ISOLATION BREACH

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

Police are investigating a viral social media post claiming that the first covid-19 patient had breached protocols and had gone out of site to chew betel nut, coming into contact with public.
Police say those behind the post will face the law.

Deputy Police Commissioner Ian Vaevaso confirmed yesterday during a press conference that police will investigate the poster for spreading rumour that the first covid-19 patient at the Isolation ward had breached isolation protocols and went to chew betel nut along the betel nut stalls outside of the morgue.

He said the Ministry of the Health and Medical Services had made their own internal investigation and found that information to be untrue.

Therefore, police will pursue the false information that was posted in the social media, Vaevaso said.

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Last week there were reports that alleged the first covid-19 patient at the Isolation ward had breached isolation protocols and went to chew betel nut along the betel nut stalls outside of the morgue.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Monday this week revealed that NHEOC had conducted an investigation into those claims and also found them to be false.

“On this note, MHMS kindly requests members of the public not to spread false rumors or speculations as this might cause unnecessary panic, fear and anxiety. It is important for the public to note that spreading of false rumors is an offence under the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020,” Sogavare said

Sogavare said all communications between patients in isolation and doctors and nurses are done via mobile phones to minimise associated risks of coming into contact with the patients.

He reiterates that necessary infection prevention and control procedures have been strengthened. Families and relatives wishing to drop off food to the patients at isolation are advised to drop food in disposable containers at the NRH Emergency Operation Centre.

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