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GB Govt’s retraction of claim that a man died of coronavirus & the importance of verification amid outbreak

GB Govt’s retraction of claim that a man died of coronavirus & the importance of verification amid outbreak

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The government of Gilgit-Baltistan on Wednesday retracted its earlier statement regarding a patient dying in the region from the coronavirus, saying that the provincial spokesperson had not confirmed the news before breaking it. 

Multiple news channels had earlier reported about Pakistan’s first coronavirus patient dying when GB government spokesperson Faizullah Faraq confirmed that a 90-year-old man passed away from the infection. However, Gilgit Baltistan government media coordinator Rasheed Arshad said that the provincial spokesperson had broken the news without verifying it. He said that the patient was suffering from pneumonia and kidney complications. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza had earlier tweeted that there was no confirmation of any coronavirus-related death in Pakistan. 

Since then 2 deaths from coronavirus have been confirmed. However, emphasis needs to be put on providing the media with true and verified news in order to avoid spreading undue panic and mass hysteria

The need for social distancing has already made a lot of people panic, and news concerning the number of deaths & cases, whether it be from the media or the government, needs to true because this is how the masses get to know of it. Not only is it the responsibility of the government to verify a coronavirus death or increase in number before announcing it to the media, the media is also responsible for being careful and to not to sensationalise anything concerning the pandemic.

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