Philippine Department of Health refutes hoax warning about visiting shopping malls and hotels during coronavirus epidemic
A purported Philippine government advisory has been shared hundreds of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter which claim it lists shopping malls and hotels in the Philippines that the Department of Health advises against visiting during the novel coronavirus epidemic. The claim is misleading; the Philippine Department of Health said the purported advisory is "fake”.
The image was published in this Facebook post published March 10, 2020. It has been shared almost 900 times.
Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:
The post’s Tagalog-language caption translates to English as: "Guys this is legit. Be aware and keep safe . This was not Yet released by DOH . / Source from my Friend, who works at DOH.”
The text in the image lists five shopping malls and four hotels in the Metro Manila area that should be avoided. It reads: "Guys got this info where in DOH has started COVID19 tracing. Please avoid these locations:
"These are where those who tested positive for NCOVid 19 went. This is very confidential and not yet released by DOH as of today they have discovered 11positive individuals and they went here. 162 cases already here in taguig boss lackdown all bars in bgc right now,.."
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020.
Since emerging in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late last year, the new coronavirus has infected more than 125,000 people and killed 4,600 globally, according to this AFP report dated March 12, 2020.
The claim is misleading; the Philippine Department of Health issued a statement on its Facebook page, labelling the purported advisory “fake”.
In this post, published March 10, 2020, the government agency said: “DOH flags circulating message advising the public to avoid certain malls, hotels, and establishments as false. DOH has not issued any advisory on this matter.”
Below is a screenshot of the statement, which shows the purported government advisory overlaid with a “FAKE!” stamp:
They state in part: “We also advise everyone to avoid visiting public places and/or attending mass gatherings at this critical time.”