CSC signs MoU on establishing Saudi-Greek Business Council    Eng. Al-Falih starts Greece visit with aim of strengthening investment relations    Photo exhibition on march of Saudi Arabia's kings, urban development opened    Tourism Ministry highlights investment opportunities in AHIC    EU calls for quick resumption of Iran nuclear talks    French ambassador to return to Washington after Macron-Biden talks    A peep into diverse manifestations of National Day festivities during 56 years    Afghanistan's healthcare system on brink of collapse, as hunger hits 95 percent of families    Saudis, expats mourn death of prominent Filipino preacher in Riyadh    The Crown Prince's keenness to develop citizens' capabilities    Joe Biden plays down chances of UK-US trade deal    Saudi Arabia observes Alzheimer's Day with rest of world    Sex and the City star Willie Garson dies aged 57    Saudi exports increase 79.6% in July    Workshop organized with investors from German companies in Riyadh    John Lennon stamps inspiring message of peace, on UN's big week    Al Burj, Chinar, CSG, Kashmir Stags, ARM, Pak Zalmi record big wins in Kanoo League    Four million Indians suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, conference told    Saudi International, Asian Tour confirm historic partnership    Boxer Pacquiao to run for Philippine president in 2022    Saudi Arabia to host Youth Weightlifting World Championships    Bollywood actor Sidharth Shukla dies at 40    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Directs KSrelief to Urgently Provide Malaysia with Medical, Preventive Equipment and Supplies to Address COVID-19 Pandemic    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Congratulates President of Maldives on Independence Day    Weather Forecast for Sunday    RSNF Commander Patronizes Ceremonial Launching of His Majesty's Ship "Jazan"    OIC Condemns Houthi Attempts to Target Civilians in Saudi Arabia    Philippines evacuates thousands as monsoon rains flood cities, provinces    Heavy rain in India triggers floods, landslides; at least 125 dead    U.S. Records 64,321 New Infections of Coronavirus    Without Fans, Tokyo Olympics Kicked Off    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Dr. Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia's Pick to Chair IsDB Group for the next five years, unanimously approved by BoG Committee of Procedures    Saudi Press: Fitch affirms Saudi Credit Rating at "A" with a revised outlook to stable from negative    Handled Cargo at Saudi Ports Increases during June 2021    SDAIA, DARP & STC Launch Pilgrim's Smart Bracelet (NUSK)    Tabuk sculptor spends 8 years in carving entire Holy Qur'an on 30 marble slabs    2 Goals by Diaz Gives Colombia 3rd Place at Copa America    Legendary actor Dilip Kumar, 98, passes away, and with him an era    Saudi Cinema Night at Arab World Institute in Paris Kicks Off    KSU Leads Joint International Scientific Project for Early Detection of Breast Cancer    Saudi Arabia to Participate in Cannes Film Festival 2021    Arab Cup U-17 Championship Draw Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Palestine, Kuwait, in the 1st Group    AWI Hosts Saudi Cinema Nights in Paris    Brazil Beats Chile at Copa America Despite 2nd-Half Red Card    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Countries urged to act against COVID-19 ‘infodemic'
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 09 - 2020

The UN and partners have urged countries to take urgent action to address what they have described as the "infodemic" that has surfaced in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the real world and online.
The pandemic is the first in history in which technology and social media are being used to both inform people and keep them connected, but also to undermine global response to the crisis and jeopardize measures to contain the disease, they explained.
"Misinformation costs lives. Without the appropriate trust and correct information, diagnostic tests go unused, immunization campaigns (or campaigns to promote effective vaccines) will not meet their targets, and the virus will continue to thrive", the partners said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
"We call on member states to develop and implement action plans to manage the infodemic by promoting the timely dissemination of accurate information, based on science and evidence, to all communities, and in particular high-risk groups; and preventing the spread, and combating, mis- and disinformation while respecting freedom of expression."
Authorities also were urged to empower communities to develop solutions and resilience against the infodemic.
Stakeholders such as the media and social media platforms were called on to collaborate with the UN system, and each other, "to further strengthen their actions to disseminate accurate information and prevent the spread of mis- and disinformation."
Communications emergency
The statement signed by the United Nations, eight of its entities, and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), followed a virtual meeting organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
In a video message for the event, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underlined how the COVID-19 pandemic is also a communications emergency.
"As soon as the virus spread across the globe, inaccurate and even dangerous messages proliferated wildly over social media, leaving people confused, misled and ill-advised", he recalled.
"The antidote lies in making sure that science-backed facts and health guidance circulate even faster, and reach people wherever they access information."
Science, solutions, solidarity
Throughout the pandemic, the UN chief has highlighted the need to fight the tide of harmful health advice, hate speech and wild conspiracy theories that has surfaced alongside COVID-19.
In May, the UN launched the Verified initiative, encouraging people everywhere to serve as "digital first responders", who share trusted, accurate information on their social media platforms.
"Working with media partners, individuals, influencers and social media platforms, the content we spread promotes science, offers solutions and inspires solidarity," he said.
As Guterres told the meeting, fighting misinformation will be critical as the UN and partners work to build public confidence in the safety and efficacy of any COVID-19 vaccines being developed.
Catching up on routine vaccinations
That message was echoed later on Wednesday at another WHO virtual meeting to galvanize governments and humanitarians to safeguard immunization campaigns during the pandemic, and to ensure infrastructure is in place for the future equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Although the UN estimates some 80 million children worldwide have not received routine immunizations due to the pandemic, services are resuming with the goal of "catching up to build better", according to Kate O'Brien, Director of WHO's Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals.
She said partners are also working "closer than ever", and with greater integration; principles that will be applicable for the future delivery of any COVID-19 vaccines.
"Our goal is to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines against COVID-19 for all countries, harnessing the partnerships to work together to bring safe and effective and affordable vaccines...and do it because nobody is safe until everybody is safe", said O'Brien.
A ‘global insurance policy'
WHO along with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) spearhead a global initiative that has pledged to put COVID-19 vaccines in the hands of anyone, anywhere who needs them.
GAVI chief Dr. Seth Berkley described the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility as a "global insurance policy", committed to ensuring no one is left behind. The goal is to produce two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.
Dr. Berkley reported that more than 160 countries either have committed to the Facility, or are eligible to receive vaccines, with others expected to join this week.
"Gavi right now helps vaccinate half the world's children. But the global delivery of COVID vaccines will be the single largest and most rapid deployment the world has ever seen," he said.
"Also, with the levels of rumors and false information, we will need to work with communities everywhere to provide accurate information."
The COVAX Facility is part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator which aims to speed up the development and production of tests, medicines and vaccines that will be available to all countries.
The ACT Accelerator was launched in April and has so far received around $2.7 billion. The UN Secretary-General recently appealed for a "quantum leap in funding" to meet the $35 billion still needed. — UN News


Clic here to read the story from its source.