The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a website offering information on the new coronavirus in question and answer format. For example, regarding the question â€œCan eating garlic help prevent infection?â€ the answer states â€œthere is no evidence … that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.â€
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has set up a similar website. Basic information can be obtained, such as â€œthe incubation period is believed to be 1 to 12.5 daysâ€ and â€œcontact a consultation service section of a public health center if infection is suspected.â€
Aggravated false claims that fuel anxiety have also been conspicuous.
Facebook has begun verifying the content of posts on its platforms. Google also has made official information such as from the WHO appear at the top of search results. Such measures will perhaps effectively prevent the spread of false information.
What is concerning is the spread of discrimination based on groundless information related to this new type of virus. Another problem is that masks have been in short supply, raising their prices. As masks have been sold at prices several times higher than their retail prices on websites that allow selling by individuals, the Consumer Affairs Agency has asked the sitesâ€™ operators and other relevant parties to take appropriate action.