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Britain Creates Unit to Fight Coronavirus Disinformation

Britain has set up a specialist unit to combat the spread of disinformation about the novel coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Monday.

The culture department said teams had been brought together to provide a fuller picture of the potential extent, scope and impact of the issue.

“The aim is, where necessary, to identify and respond to disinformation related to COVID-19,” it added in a statement.

As of Sunday, Britain had 278 confirmed cases of the virus, including three deaths.

Britain Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was on Monday chairing an emergency committee with scientific experts, with more stringent measures to delay the spread of the coronavirus expected.

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Culture minister Oliver Dowden did not identify any specific source for the disinformation.

But he said preventing the deliberate or inadvertent spread of false information was a “top priority”, after several days of panic buying in supermarkets.

The government will have “regular engagement” with social media platforms to monitor and limit and its spread, he added.

In a similar news, the number of coronavirus cases in Germany has passed 1,000, official data from the Robert Koch Institute disease control centre showed on Monday.

There are now a total of 1,112 confirmed cases in Europe’s biggest economy, with the region of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) reporting 484 infections — the highest number among Germany’s 16 states.

In a bid to slow contagion, Health Minister Jens Spahn has called for gatherings of more than 1,000 people to be scrapped across Germany, which could affect many events including Bundesliga football matches.

NRW state premier Armin Laschet said he planned to follow Spahn’s advice in scrapping large gatherings in the state, meaning that several football games, including Saturday’s derby between Dortmund and Schalke could be played in empty stadiums.

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Written by How Africa

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