There have been a number of fake messages and unfounded rumours circulating related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019).
If you receive these messages or any other unsubstantiated information over WhatsApp or other online platforms, we urge you not to forward or circulate them. Remember, if you are not sure, don't share.
We'll be listing the more widespread ones here for your reference:
False message circulating in the public regarding door-to-door distribution of reusable masks - 4 April 2020
There are false text and audio messages circulating via text messaging services, claiming that there are people robbing residents under the pretext of distributing masks, purportedly under a new government initiative. The message also claimed that the residents would be made to try on masks believed to be doused with chemicals which made them lose consciousness.
This is untrue. The Police have not received any report regarding such incidents.
There are also no government initiatives to distribute masks directly to households. Instead, all residents with registered home addresses will be able to collect reusable masks at designated Community Clubs/Centres and Residents’ Committees from 5 to 12 April 2020. Collection details are available on https://maskgowhere.sg.
Read SPF's clarification.
Doctored Movement Control Order infographic - 4 April 2020
< update 4 Apr, 6.30pm > The infographic is actually a graphic created by the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, for Singaporeans in Malaysia to take note of Malaysia's Movement Control Order measures. The doctored image removed the High Commission letterhead, creating the impression that the measures are part of Singapore's new safe distancing measures.
< 4 Apr, 1.15pm > There is a doctored infographic of Malaysia's Movement Control Order being circulated. The infographic incorrectly claims that the measures outlined are part of Singapore's new safe distancing measures (to be implemented on 7 Apr).
Screenshot of Singapore High Commission in KL and Consulate-General in JB's Facebook Post
Singapore’s new safe distancing measures are outlined in the following articles:
COVID-19 April Fool’s pranks - 1 April 2020
There are COVID-19 April Fool’s pranks circulating on WhatsApp and social media.
Do not click or forward files from unknown or unverified sources.
Members of public are urged not to spread fake news and misinformation about COVID-19. Singaporeans are relying on internet and media for vital information for COVID-19, and these jokes, while benign in nature, may fan the spread of misinformation resulting in severe consequences.
Read MOH's clarification.
Fake news about virus being spread through postal articles - 28 March 2020
An audio recording circulating through Whatsapp, allegedly attributed to a Malaysian infectious diseases specialist, claiming that COVID-19 is being spread through postal articles. The infectious diseases specialist has since clarified that he did not make the recording. Relevant Malaysian authorities and SingPost have debunked the claims.
Read the Factually clarification here.
Rumour of Safe Distancing Ambassadors imposing fine - 27 March 2020
There is a rumour circulating on social media and via text messaging platforms claiming that an Enterprise Singapore safe distancing ambassador had imposed a fine on an individual, for sitting on a seat that was marked out as not to be occupied.
This is FALSE. Safe distancing ambassadors do not impose fines.
Read Enterprise Singapore's clarification.
Beware of scam automated voice calls - 26 Mar 2020
There is a rumour circulating on social media that Singapore Citizens are entitled to withdraw a $2,000 payment due to the spread of COVID-19, along with a link on how to make the claim.
This is not true. Do not click on the link, or circulate this message.
Rumour of foreign domestic worker's death due to virus - 28 Feb 2020
There is a rumour circulating on social media that a foreign domestic worker had passed away from COVID-19 in Singapore. This is not true. She was tested for COVID-19 and found to be negative.
As of 4pm on 28 Feb 2020, there has been no fatality related to COVID-19 in Singapore.
Read MOH's clarification.
Falsehoods published by States Times Review on COVID-19 situation - 13 Feb 2020
There is a series of false statements made in a Facebook post by the States Times Review on 13 February 2020 on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore.
Read more about the corrections and clarifications made to the false statements here.
Voice recording advising persons to avoid Lucky Plaza - 12 Feb 2020
There has been circulation of a voice recording via text messaging platforms advising persons to avoid Lucky Plaza after an individual had fainted at Jollibee. It added that the staff and patrons were vacated from the premises by paramedics and the Police. This information is false. No such incident has happened at Lucky Plaza and Jollibee.
We advise members of the public to avoid speculating and/or spread unfounded rumours. Please visit www.moh.gov.sg for updates on the Coronavirus Disease 2019.
Screengrab of Channel NewsAsia tweet on school closure due to the nCoV virus - 7 Feb 2020
There is a fake screengrab of a CNA tweet saying that all schools, including polytechnics and universities, were to close the next Monday (10 Feb 2020) due to the nCoV situation.
This is false, and CNA did not tweet this.
Stay updated on latest advisories for various sectors, such as schools, here.
Message on a death in Singapore due to the virus - 7 Feb 2020
There is a message circulating of a death in Singapore due to the nCoV virus.
This is false. As of 7 Feb 2020, MOH has confirmed that there are currently no deaths due to the virus.
WhatsApp message with a list of places to avoid - 1 Feb 2020
There is a WhatsApp message circulating around with a list of alleged places where suspected or confirmed cases have been.
There is no need to avoid places where suspected or confirmed cases of nCoV have been.
The risk of infection from transient contact, such as in public places, is low. There is also currently no evidence of community spread.
Adopt good personal hygiene practices, such as washing your hands frequently with soap, and wearing a mask if you are unwell.
NEA has also clarified that their officers have been working closely with and providing support to residents and owners of premises, to ensure that the cleaning and disinfection of areas are done in accordance with NEA’s guidelines.
Validity of the Maskgowhere.gov.sg site - 1 Feb 2020
Some unfounded messages are going around about the Maskgowhere.sg website.
Maskgowhere.gov.sg is a valid Singapore Government link.
If you are unsure about a forwarded message you receive, don't spread it.
Get information directly on official sources like Gov.sg and www.moh.gov.sg
Sign up for the Gov.sg WhatsApp service at go.gov.sg/whatsapp for updates.
Singapore ran out of face masks – 30 Jan 2020
The States Times Review Facebook page said that Senior Minister Dr Lam Pin Min had confirmed that Singapore had run out of face masks.
This is false. Dr Lam had stated clearly that there was sufficient supply of masks if people use them responsibly.
A Targeted Correction Direction has been issued regarding the false statement. Read here.
Five Singaporeans contracting the virus locally – 30 Jan 2020
On 30 Jan 2020, a website titled ‘City News’ published an article claiming that five Singaporeans have contracted the Wuhan coronavirus without going to China.
As of 9pm on 30 Jan 2020, there is no local transmission of nCoV. All confirmed cases in Singapore to date are Chinese nationals who travelled from Wuhan.
A Correction Direction has been issued regarding the false statement. Read here.
Woodlands MRT was closed for disinfection - 28 Jan 2020
Several Facebook posts claimed that Woodlands MRT was closed for disinfection due to a suspected case of the Wuhan coronavirus infection. The posts also urged members of the public not to go to Woodlands MRT.
This is not true. Woodlands MRT was not closed on 28 Jan 2020; it was fully operational.
Read MOT's clarification here.
Individual who died of virus - 26 Jan 2020
A HardwareZone Forum post claimed that a 66 year old man died in Singapore from a newly identified virus that caused him to develop severe pneumonia.
As of 11pm on 26 Jan 2020, there have been no deaths among confirmed cases of the nCoV infection.
A General Correction Direction has been issued regarding the false statement. Read here.
Individual who died of virus - 25 Jan 2020
MOH is aware of rumours circulating online that there had been an individual who died of the nCoV infection at a shopping mall in Singapore. MOH clarifies that there had been no deaths among suspect or confirmed cases.
Read MOH's clarification here.
Travellers from Wuhan being turned away - 25 Jan 2020
ICA has clarified that a rumour of 100 arriving travellers from Wuhan being denied entry into Singapore is not true.
Read ICA's clarification here.
Avoiding visiting hospitals - 24 Jan 2020
A message being spread on Whatsapp told people to not visit certain public hospitals. MOH has clarified that all public hospitals in Singapore have strict protocols to handle suspect cases related to the nCoV. Suspect cases presented at hospitals will be immediately isolated and further assessed.
Read MOH's clarification here.