Coronavirus won't turn you into a 'zombie', says Malaysia

Coronavirus won't turn you into a 'zombie', says Malaysia

Officers from Malaysia?s Department of Information distribute health advisories during a public
Officers from Malaysia's Department of Information distribute health advisories during a public campaign to prevent virus infection in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo: AFP/Mohd RASFAN)

KUALA LUMPUR: The deadly coronavirus will not cause victims to act like zombies, Malaysia's government said on social media, as officials act to correct the spread of misinformation surrounding the outbreak.

As medical authorities seek to contain the virus, some social media users in Malaysia made a connection between the disease and the walking dead.

Malaysia's health ministry dismissed the rumour in a tweet, however, saying: "The claim that individuals infected with this virus will behave like zombies is not true ... Patients can recover."

"The death rate is low (between two to three per cent) as compared to MERS-CoV (around 34 per cent) and SARS (about 10 per cent)," the ministry added in the series of tweets aimed at debunking myths about the coronavirus.

A number of posts in Malaysia on social media have wrongly claimed the number of deaths or infected people in the country.

Police have arrested six people for spreading misinformation about the virus, a Malaysian Communications and Multimedia statement said.

READ: Malaysia arrests 4 more people for spreading false information about Wuhan virus

One of those arrested on Wednesday was a part-time tutor, aged 49, who was arrested for "uploading fake content pertaining to the virus" on Facebook.

In the latest arrest, last Thursday, a 28-year-old woman was investigated for "improper use of network facilities".

If convicted, she can be fined up to 50,000 ringgit or be jailed for a year, or both.

The virus has killed more than 300 people in China and infected thousands. Eight people in Malaysia have been found with the virus - all Chinese nationals.

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Source: AFP/CNA/nr