BFF-40 Feature: Myths could hinder COVID-19 fight





Feature: Myths could hinder COVID-19 fight

LUSAKA, March 16, 2020 (BSS/XINHUA) – Despite Zambia not recording any
COVID-19 case, interest in the pandemic has grown.

“I don’t have much information on this disease and the government needs to
do more to explain to us,” David Nsenga, a 20-year-old Lusaka resident said.

The situation has been exacerbated by wrong information about the disease.

Fueled by an incessant social media, people have been posting wrong
information to anyone who cares to read on the disease.

The myths on the COVID-19 are too much and require concerted efforts by
stakeholders to provide the right information.

A discussion with a number of residents revealed that people have been fed
with wrong information on the disease, with a few showing some knowledge.

Among the myths being spread on Zambia’s social media on the COVID-19 is
that people who drink beer cannot get the disease and that eating garlic can
help prevent infection with the COVID-19.

Some people are spreading rumors that a cure for the COVID-19 has been
found and that older people cannot get the virus.

On the other hand, other myth were that the COVID-19 does not infect black
people and that it was very difficult for the disease to stay long in Africa
because of the prevailing weather conditions.

On Saturday, Minister of heath Chitalu Chilufya tried to demystify the
false statements that have been circulating, saying providing right
information is critical.

He said drinking beer will not immune anyone from the disease but following
laid down health caution procedures.

“If you think you are protected from the Coronavirus virus because you
drink beer, I am afraid you are wasting time,” he said.

He said there was currently no cure but that the disease can be managed.

According to him, people should pay more attention to the information
provided by health officials such as hand-washing and not to stay in crowded

The Zambian minister noted that the false information circulating on
social media about the spread and treatment of the COVID-19 should be
dismissed but instead people should look for expert advice from health

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dora Siliya believes that the media
is key in helping to disseminate the right information to the public.

The ministry is working on a statutory instrument on how it will work with
the media in ensuring accurate information is provided, said Siliya.