While fake news can cause panic and agitation to the public, under reporting of facts is also harmful most especially during a pandemic crisis.
The Dangers Posed by False Information thru Under Reporting
During the early days of the Covid 19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, some insiders were giving contrary reports to what the Chinese government was reporting as facts about the epidemic occurring in the province. Since many dismissed the contradictory reports as fane news, the rest of the world remained complacent that the Chinese government will be able to contain and resolve the health crisis in due time.
Nonetheless, the World Health Organisation (WHO) did its part by giving out warnings, As early as January 2020, it is on record that the WHO had provided countries with scientific information for local science experts to work on, in preparation for a potential coronavirus epidemic.
U.S. president Donald Trump is a classic example of one who either delivers false information or belies facts for his benefit by branding them as fake news. He adamantly dismissed the Covid-19 disease as just another flu being exploited by Democrats. In later press releases, Trump finally accepted the reality of the Covid-19, but continued to make false announcements of how the U.S. government has kept the epidemic unders control and that a vaccine was already underway.
During those times, the WHO kept warning that if people will not observe and apply the safety measures being recommended, the epidemic is likely to blow up into a pandemic.
False information and slow government action led to widespread transmissions of the Covid-19 disease in the U.S. As of April 15, 2020, the country has become the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with 615, 406 confirmed cases that resulted in 26,164 deaths.
The U.K. is showing numbers still far behind the U.S., Spain, Italy, France and Germany. However, the UK National Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) is calling attention to the discrepancies being reported by the UK’s Public Health Authority. The under reporting pertained to the hundreds of deaths occurring in care homes. Many of which have been established by the NISRA as suspected cases of Covid-19, because testing among care home residents have been overlooked.
Drone Journalism can Challenge Fake News and Under Reporting
The UK’s total tally of 98,476 cases and 12,868 deaths as of April 15, 2020 include figures reported by Northern Ireland.
Dr. George O’Neill, Chairperson of the West Belfast Federation of GPs, has expressed the same concern over unreported deaths. In a BBC Radio Ulster interview, Dr. O’Neill said
The daily death toll here is not reflecting the number of people dying in care homes, and that is worrying.”
A drone video footage showing freshly dug graves in a cemetery appears to confirm the undeclared deaths due to Covid-19. However, a spokesperson for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said the digging of graves is part of a program aimed at ensuring requirements will be me. That is in case the Sixmile Cemetery in Antrim experiences a reduction in staff due to Covid-19 illness.
Apparently, drone videography has helped news fact checkers thresh out the fake from the real reports. Local reports supported by drone videos, appear to have more credibility even if coming from amateur news reporters and drone videographers.
Quadcopters or quads are fast becoming a fascination for many, since there are now affordable high performance drones at Amazon online store, under the top quads for 100$ category