CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster: Health Patrol

Health Care Comments Off

With input from Dr Monica Vasudev

1078: Round Table Expert Zoom Meeting on “Fake News”

5th September, 2020, 11am-12noon

Participants: Dr KK Aggarwal, Dr AK Agarwal, Dr Veena Aggarwal, Dr Suneela Garg, Dr Girdhar Gyani, Dr Narottam Puri, Dr Ashok Gupta, Dr Atul Kochhar, Prof Mahesh Verma, Dr Jayakrishnan Alapet, Dr Jayalal, Dr DR Rai, Dr Anita Arora, Dr Anita Chakravarti, Dr Anul Mohta, Dr Reshma Hingorani, Dr Pragati Sawhney, Dr Atul Pandya, Prof Bejon Misra, Dr Anil Kumar, Dr KK Kalra, Mrs Upasana Arora, Ms Ira Gupta, Mr Saurabh Aggarwal, Dr S Sharma

This meeting was dedicated to the memory of all those who lost their lives in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key points from the discussion

Misleading information about various diseases, especially COVID-19, has been circulating in the social media, posing a threat to public health as it spreads rapidly.
This misleading can be advertent or inadvertent, i.e., sometimes misleading information spreads when people do not know where to find the correct data.
People tend to believe information if it appeals to their emotions, especially during times of crisis, such as the corona pandemic.
Finding the right information is a huge task.
To counter fake news, the WHO, Health ministry and various agencies are extensively posting correct information on their websites and social media. But, much more needs to be done.
The impact of fake news on society is very high, so there is a need to be careful. Fake news results in depression, anxiety, suicides and accidents.
We have to be in tune with international thinking and have to think big and high.
The Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) has started a COVID educator program to train people to provide correct information to the public; 225 volunteers have been trained so far.
There is a need for a platform which can give correct information based on facts. Any news must have a reference/source.
HCFI launched three new initiatives, under the forum of Round Table, during this meeting: Health Patrol; International Journal of Pandemic Research and HCFI Dr KK Aggarwal Research Fund.
Health Patrol is a platform to curb fake news; any news, including audio-video can be put on the website for verification. The team would try to find out source of the news and it would then be published with comments of the peer reviewer.
The International Journal of Pandemic Research is a monthly online journal with articles related to COVID-19 or any pandemic; it will be more like a resource library.
The HCFI Dr KK Aggarwal Research Fund has been established to promote research. It will provide a complete solution, which includes writers, statisticians, etc. It is a good platform for those who have lot of information but do not know how to analyze and interpret the data and need help to do so, so that the article that would come out will be of help to the public.
All the participants appreciated these initiatives; they also extended their support and expressed the need to work together to counter fake news.

Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA