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Man to be charged for posting false message about COVID-19 circuit breaker measures

Man to be charged for posting false message about COVID-19 circuit breaker measures

File picture of a person typing on a computer keyboard. (Photo: AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev)

SINGAPORE: A 40-year-old man will be charged on Monday (Apr 27) for posting a false message on Facebook about COVID-19 “circuit breaker” measures.

The man is accused of posting the false message between Apr 15 and Apr 16 in a Facebook group called Taxiuncle.

According to the police, the man claimed he “got intel” that Singapore “will proceed with more measures” from Apr 18.

“Food courts coffee shop all close. Supermarkets will only open two days a week. Better go stock up your stuff for the next month or so. Govt officials in meeting yesterday and will finalize measures tomorrow,” the post read.

READ: Commentary: Forwarding a WhatsApp message on COVID-19 news? How to make sure you don’t spread misinformation

The man may be jailed for up to three years, fined a maximum of S$10,000 or both if he is found guilty of transmitting a message that he knows to be false.

“The police will not hesitate to take action against anyone who transmits or communicates falsehoods,” the force said.

“Members of the public should refer to official sources for information and avoid spreading unsubstantiated information or false rumours, as these may cause fear and public alarm.”

READ: Singapore's COVID-19 cases top 13,000 after 931 more confirmed; 58 more patients discharged

READ: In full: PM Lee's address on extension of 'circuit breaker' measures

Singapore is currently undergoing a circuit breaker period to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country. It started on Apr 7 and was set to last until May 4, but was extended last week to Jun 1.

Safe distancing measures have also been tightened, with hairdressers, pet supply stores and standalone outlets selling beverages and desserts told to close. Supermarkets and wet markets remain open, although entry restrictions have been imposed on four popular wet markets.

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Source: CNA/mi

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