INFODEMICS OF COVID-19: THE ROLE & IMPACT OF MEDIA
The world is facing a pandemic whose speed and severity rivals that of the 1918 influenza epidemic. The disease spreads quite efficiently. The average infected person spreads the disease to two or three others leading to an exponential rate of increase. There is also strong evidence that it can be transmitted by people who are just mildly ill or even presymptomatic and asymptomatic .1 Covid-19 has already caused 10 times as many cases as SARS in a quarter of the time.2 Social distancing, the most widely used preventive measures, aims to curtail new infections by reducing physical contact between people3. These measures have led to the cancellation of sporting events and conferences, closures of schools and colleges, malls, industries, factories and has forced many businesses to require their employees to work from home 4-5. To the millions of homebound population of the world due to lockdowns, the digital media remains the only source of information about the disease. Since it has disrupted the daily routines of millions of people worldwide, the people need to be informed and updated about the changing guidelines and instructions issued by the government to maintain safety in this time of crisis. Social media users are spending more time online than ever before. Thus, It cannot be emphasized more than fast and accurate information is very much an essential part of the battle against COVID-19
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