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Social media has emerged as a major source of misinformation on Covid-19.

Only three in 10 Kenyans feel adequately prepared to deal with Covid-19 in case of infection, new research has shown.

But 91 per cent of the population is aware of the measures the State has put in place to tackle the disease, a report by Ajua found.

Some 84 per cent of those surveyed said they understand coronavirus symptoms and 78 per cent know what to do in case they are infected.

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Source of information

The research shows 60 per cent of Kenyans trust television stations as a reliable source of information, dwarfing the number that trusts social media, which stood at 20 per cent.

Social media has emerged as a major source of misinformation on Covid-19.

“For Kenya to effectively curb the spread of misinformation authorities and the public have a role to play. Apart from cracking down on individuals spreading rumours in a timely manner, the government should give regular updates through televised news conferences,” said Ajua.

“This gives Kenyans confidence that the information they’re receiving is genuine.”

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The research and communications firm added that citizens should be vigilant and “consume social media content with a bit of scepticism”.

“With 400 million Indians on WhatsApp, the platform has made it difficult to fight misinformation. Distorted truth about Covid-19 has been spreading like wildfire in groups and private chats. This has led to growing tensions and panic, which saw the country’s stock exchange plunge to its lowest in almost a decade. This led Indian PM, Narendra Modi, to make a public appeal to citizens to refrain from sharing rumours and unverified information,” the firm said.

Ajua asked the government to maximise the use of TV as a platform to fight fake news that could plunge the country into a deeper crisis. 

Covid-19 Ajua

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