WATCH Two hospitals, two weeks: Time lapse shows China’s speedy reaction to coronavirus

The first group of coronavirus-infected patients arrived at Huoshenshan Hospital on 4 February 2020. The medical facility was built in eight days in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. China is building a second hospital in Wuhan with 1,600 beds dedicated to the treatment of coronavirus patients and is scheduled to be completed on 5 February 2020.

How Facebook and Twitter are stopping fake coronavirus news

Social media networks Facebook and Twitter have taken steps to curb the spread of false information about the coronavirus on their sites.

Amid the outbreak‚ the two popular apps said they were taking down posts that spread misinformation and will permanently suspend users.

In a blog post‚ Facebook said it would limit the spread of false information about the coronavirus by removing “false posts and conspiracy theories”.

It also said it would use its existing fact-checkers to review and expose misinformation and notify individuals who share or are trying to share information that had been flagged as false.

Facebook said it was focusing on “posts that are designed to discourage treatment”‚ including posts about false cures.

“Our platforms are already being used to help people connect with accurate information about the situation‚ including from global and regional health organisations.

“We’ve been closely co-ordinating with leading health organisations to make this easier and more accessible for people using Facebook and Instagram.”

According to Twitter‚ there have been more than 15-million tweets about the coronavirus in the past four weeks.

Although it has not seen significant co-ordinated attempts to spread disinformation‚ Twitter said it would remain vigilant and has invested significantly in its proactive abilities to ensure trends‚ search and other common areas of the service are protected from malicious behaviour.

Twitter launched a prompt that appears when users search for coronavirus‚ encouraging them to use official channels for information such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) or centres for disease control.

When users search for coronavirus‚ a large headline with the title “Know the facts” will appear.

Coronavirus stats

To date the virus has taken the lives of at least 170 people‚ with more than 1‚000 reported to be critically ill in mainland China‚ TimesLIVE reported.

WHO has declared it a public health emergency.

No confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in SA. Health minister Zweli Mkhize says all precautions are being taken to mitigate the risks‚ including the referral of air passengers to nurses on their arrival in the country if the travellers have elevated temperatures.

“We have remained vigilant on developments regarding the movement and behaviour of the viral infection across the world‚ and continue to engage the international fraternity to better understand how the virus behaves and its health effects‚” said Mkhize.

The Chinese ambassador to South Africa‚ Lin Songtian‚ on Monday confirmed that South Africans in Hubei and Wuhan were safe.

“China has strong capacity and enough resources to manage a public health emergency effectively and South African citizens in Hubei and Wuhan are safe. There is no need to evacuate them.”

By: Unathi Nkanjeni

Source: TMG Digital.

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