This country’s Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is appealing to Vincentians at home and abroad to refrain from recklessly and deliberately spreading false rumors, about reports of the Coronavirus in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Dr. Gonsalves comments came while speaking today on WE FM’s Wake Up Morning Program, following a release issued by the Ministry of Health, stating that the virus is not present here.
The Prime Minister said there are leading professionals who are capable of dealing with the issue.
Dr. Gonsalves said subsection 1 and 2 of section 64 under of Criminal Code Act, persons are liable to one year imprisonment, for deliberately spreading false rumors.
“Subsection (1) says any person who publishes any false statement, rumor or report, which is likely to cause fear or alarm, or to disturb the public peace, is guilty of an offense and liable to imprisonment for one (1) year. Subsection (2). It shall be a defense to a charge under subsection (1). If the accused person/s prove that prior to the publication, measures were taken to verify the accuracy of such statement, rumor or report, as to be leading reasonably to believe, that it is true,” said Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, speaking on We FM’s Wake Up morning program.
“Well if the officials telling you, that this is the story, you’ll have to get your information from some other source, where you know better than the officials,” said Dr. Gonsalves.
“You notice a politician didn’t issue this press release. The officials in the Ministry of Health. This is not a Luke Browne Statement or a Ralph Gonsalves Statement. So those persons who want to wish the worse for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, back off nah,” said the Prime Minister.
In a release issued today, the Ministry said that anyone who arrives in St. Vincent and the Grenadines having been in China within 14 days, prior to arrival, will be quarantined for 2 weeks.
It says the cooperation of the general public is solicited as it works together to keep everyone healthy.
The Ministry is urging everyone to refrain from spreading rumors which can cause unhealthy panic.