58 percent of the rumours about the current Coronavirus disease circulating in South Sudan are not true, UNICEF said.

Since the UN organisation started tracking rumours together with partners, 99 rumours have been collected. Only 11 percent of the rumours were true and 31 percent are still being assessed.

Most of the rumors were on the transmission of the virus, signs, and symptoms, suggested treatments, the origin of the virus and some conspiracy theories. Most of the false information is shared through social media and word of mouth.

“We all have a role to play in ensuring misconceptions are debunked and replaced with credible information, and in this respect, the media has a special responsibility as a trusted source of information for many people,” said Mohamed Ag Ayoya, the UNICEF South Sudan representative.

“When we are passing on information, we need to ask ourselves, where is this information coming from and is it verified by credible sources? If the answer to the latter question is no, one should refrain from passing it on.”

Together with the Ministry of Health (MoH), UNICEF is co-leading the risk communication efforts in South Sudan, disseminating correct information about the Coronavirus disease to people across the country.

MoH and UNICEF have distributed 176,149 posters in 10 different languages and public announcements are made through 42 radio stations in the most appropriate local language in each area. Social mobilisers are using megaphones to educate people on the disease and how to stay safe, while respecting the physical distancing measure as advised by MoH and WHO.