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Egypt campaign to prevent spread of 'fake' coronavirus news 

Civil defense team with protective suits disinfect the streets and workplaces as a precaution to the coronavirus (Covid-19) on 9 March 2020 [Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency]
Civil defense team with protective suits disinfect the streets and workplaces as a precaution to the coronavirus (Covid-19) on 9 March 2020 [Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian police arrested three people for allegedly spreading fake news on social media regarding the number of people affected by the coronavirus in the country.

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior said in a statement that legal measures are being taken against the three detainees who are being investigated.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday the launching of a government campaign against the circulation of news about the coronavirus in Egypt.

Madbouly said that some groups have spread false rumours regarding the spread of coronavirus which gave a negative image abroad about the government's approach to dealing with the virus and a false impression that the disease has spread in Egypt, resulted in some countries taking measures against the country.

READ: Egypt says no coronavirus cases in schools

In response, Egypt has set up a telephone number for people to use to inform officials of anyone who is spreading rumours.

Egypt yesterday announced its second death from the coronavirus; a 60-year-old woman suffering from acute pneumonia.

The number of confirmed cases in Egypt has risen to 80, the Ministry of Health added.

Activists believe the number of those affected is far higher. According to Egypt Watch, patients who tested positive were being kept in military hospitals, which are not subject to the direct supervision of the Ministry of Health, sparking fears that cases would not necessarily be recorded.

Coronavirus is affecting the whole world, will it unite us - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Coronavirus is affecting the whole world, will it unite us? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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