Misinformation, hoaxes, and desi cures have all been rampant online since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Before passing on any online rumour, it is imperative to verify it. This can be done by keeping a close eye on information from local authorities, comparing multiple news reports, or searching key words to find the original source.
A text message claiming that special military helicopters will spray pesticides to combat the spread of coronavirus at midnight is doing rounds on social media.
The army’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), has clarified that the information is not true.
The false message reads: “Today, special military helicopters will spray pesticides against the Corona virus in the skies all over the country, so you must stay indoors after twelve o'clock at night.”
The alert urges the public to remove all clothes and personal supplies from the surfaces to protect them from pesticides.
“When you hear the sounds of airplanes at night, it is for you to know that it is related to this matter (COVID-19),” the fake alert added.
By copy-pasting keywords from the fake message, Dawn found the same message had been circulated in other parts of the world as well. The Kuwaiti and Egyptian armies have also denied the validity of the message.
Official alerts from the ISPR can be found on Twitter under @OfficialDGISPR.