The spokesperson of Uganda Journalist Association (UJA), Ronald Kabuye, has asked all journalists in the country to refrain from publishing false information regarding Coronavirus which can mislead the public, cause panic and fear.
“We appeal to all the journalists to always report facts and avoid being misled by fake news that run viral on different social media platforms, “said Kabuye.
Kabuye made these remarks while addressing journalists about the status of Coronavirus outbreak in the country at UJA headquarters in Kampala on Friday March 20, this week.
“Let’s be careful while reporting about this virus. Let’s not be comical because we are in a serious situation as a country and we should not make the matter worse by giving wrong information,” he added.
The warning comes at a time when Uganda is joining other countries to battle the Coronavirus killed 172 countries.
Fortunately for Uganda at least until now, has not reported a single case of someone infected by the virus.
In addition to refraining from the misleading stories that are posted on different social media platforms, Kabuye also warned the media against exaggerating the stories about the deadly virus noting that the country will be out in a panic mood.
He further reminded the public to closely follow all the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health to prevent and contain the spread of the disease in the country.
The UJA spokesperson further appealed to the media owners to provide masks, gloves and sanitizers to field journalists to prevent from contracting this coronavirus.
“We also appeal to media owners to have sanitizers at work places so that visitors and journalists can wash their hands to avoid getting this disease,” he said.
He also called upon journalists who are financially able to buy these sanitizers, gloves and masks as one way of protecting their lives from the infection.
Murushid Ssekandi, a committee member of UJA called upon people to be serious noting that many people are dying in a number of countries.
He urged the public to leave the job of informing the public to journalists who have the first hand information.
“I appeal to all journalists in the country to be patriotic about their country.
Please don’t give out fake news and be careful about your lives and protect your integrity while carrying out your duty, make sure that what you are giving out is well researched and well edited,” he said.