Cameroon: Covid19.CM to fight fake news about the pandemic

Cameroon has not been saved from the new coronavirus epidemic. The country exceeds 2,000 fall marks. There are really 2,077 infected cases, for 953 cures, 64 deaths and 1,060 people who are still hospitalized, according to the latest number of Covid19.CM.

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The announcement of the first infection cases in March last year had aroused a certain amount of psychosis in the population and then opened the door to the spread of fake news on social networks and other digital platforms. In order to block the way to fake news and, above all, to raise public awareness of this epidemic, young Cameroonians have taken the bull by the horns.

The association Smart Click Africa launched the web platform Covid19.CM on April 20 in Yaoundé. This site is available to the public via the url www.covid19.cm removes daily fake news about the pandemic through its section: True or False? Fact checking on coronavirus in Cameroon. Thus, this window allows the Internet user to have reliable information about Covid-19 to prevent it from transmitting fake news and to slow down by ricocheting its distribution chain.

With more than 3.5 million cameramen on Facebook, we told Smart Click Africa that it was important to do something to offset this shortcoming and fight false news by providing the right information to the public.

“With more than 3.5 million Cameroonians on Facebook, we told Smart Click Africa that it was important to do something to offset this shortcoming and fight false news by providing the right information to the public and these Cameroonians are present on Facebook and on Web and social networks during these times of crisis, emphasizes Beaugas Orain Djoyoum, one of the project managers.

Just a few days after the launch, the site seems to find a real lunacy with the target audience. “More than 50,000 visits in one week. In addition to articles on fact checking of the disease, Cameroonian Internet users appreciate the platform and especially preventive messages and the daily update of the identified cases, reveals Mr. Djoyoum.

To stay on course through well-developed work, the association Smart Click Africa has chosen “for the integration of media professionals and journalists who specialize in the treatment of health-related news”, specifies Assongmo Necdem, head of Covid19.CM’s fact-checking project.

Meanwhile, the complete eradication of the pandemic in the country, Smart Click Africa does not intend to stop on the road. “By the end of the pandemic, which we want quickly and that is why we integrated the barrier measures in Covid-19, the site will remain online as an archive to continue raising awareness (as awareness messages remain); but also as a basis for researchers, internet users and students who want to be interested in what happened, how public and private actors handled the crisis and what false information spread during this pandemic in Cameroon, “says Beaugas Orain Djoyoum.

Since the disease came to Cameroon, the Cameroonian government has taken what preventive measures: wear the badge, night-out, close borders and restrict travel and public gatherings. He took care not to put total containment in a poor country where a good part of the population lives informal activities.

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