Doctor: Switch off fake news

A LEADING GP has called on the public to limit their social media intake to combat fake news surrounding the coronavirus epidemic.

Regular broadcaster Dr Ellie Cannon was speaking after swathes of fake news and opinions had become prevelant.

She told the Jewish Telegraph: "I hope people are turning to me, because my information only comes from the chief medical officer and chief scientists.

"People who are politicising this or are broadcasting fake news on social media and in WhatsApp groups need to be ignored. If it's not come from the CMO or CSA, ignore it."

She added: "Just because somebody is a doctor, statistician or a scientist, doesn't mean they are an expert on the pandemic.

"I am not, which is why I listen to the verified experts."

Dr Cannon, who regularly appears on Sky News and Channel 5 News among other broadcast media, had three pieces of advice for those worried by what they read online.

She said: "First of all, come off social media or shut down your accounts.

"If that isn't possible, politely call out those sharing unwarranted information.

"Stick to verified sources such as the NHS, BBC, news channels which you know you can trust, and make sure you're reading news rather than opinion.

"Limit all scrolling and media intake to a maximum 30 minutes per day so you know exactly what is happening, but are not being bombarded with information that is fuelling anxiety."

One of the biggest issues has been hoarding and stockpiling supermarket items such as toilet paper, which Dr Cannon describes as "selfish".

She said: "Stockpiling is happening because, although we talk about a caring society, unfortunately I think we have seen people's true colours.

"I feel devastated about that. When the going gets tough, people have decided to look after themselves.

"They need to realise that many patients with pain issues use paracetamol and they can't get hold of it.

"Many disabled housebound patients rely on home deliveries, so people block-booking for themselves means they are putting more vulnerable people's lives at risk."

Follow Dr Cannon on Twitter @Dr_Ellie


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