PEOPLE, who make themselves guilty of spreading false information about possible lockdowns and hospitals that are not able to attend to the need of patients are not only guilty of a criminal offence but are possibly endangering the lives others.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula said persons, who prevent others from contacting hospitals when they have a medical emergency, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Perpetrators of this kind of crime make use of social media to spread such false information. They create undue tension and erode the trust that others have in the systems and protocols established to save lives.
The recent sharp escalation in new COVID-19 cases across Namibia and a possibility that the rapid spread could be the result of a new strain of SARS-CoV2, also known as the New Coronavirus, have many people living in fear.
People, who create undue fear by spreading false information and people who repost and spread such information further, are equally liable for prosecution.
This is not the first time that Namibians had to be warned to refrain from spreading false information.
When the infection rate was at its highest during August and September last year, false information about medication and vaccines also created undue panic among Namibians.
In one case a resident of Windhoek was taken in for questioning by the Namibian Police and his excuses of just forwarding false information that he thought was important, did not save him from being issued with a fine of N$2 000.
Contravention of current health regulations which includes the dissemination of false information can result in a fine of up to N$100 000, a ten-year-long prison sentence, or both.