Caraga police tracing source of Covid-19 patient's flight info

THE Police Regional Office (PRO)-Caraga has started conducting an investigation to identify the person/s involved in the spread of information about passengers of a Manila-Butuan flight where one of the passengers turned out to be positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Brigadier General Joselito Esquivel Jr., PRO-Caraga director, said the flight information was spread through social media Monday, April 6.

He said the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit (Racu)-Caraga started its investigation to locate the source and identify the person and/or persons behind the leak of unverified information, "which caused panic among the people and fear among the passengers and their family."

On Monday, the Department of Health (DOH)-Caraga confirmed the region's first Covid-19 case -- a 68-year-old male from Butuan City.

It also released an advisory saying the DOH staff will contact all the passengers of Cebu Pacific flight 5J-793, which departed from Manila to Butuan last March 12, 2020 at 11 a.m.

Prior to the DOH advisory, however, a list, with information of passengers onboard, was circulated on social media, with some people posting it on their Facebook accounts.

Esquivel reminded all Caraganons that only authorized persons can post regarding matters of health concern.

He said reposting and forwarding of information which are not processed and validated can make a person liable for being an accomplice to a crime committed.

“I assure all Caraganons that we will investigate this matter and all of you who posted and reposted adding chaos to the situation will be prosecuted. Even if you deleted it, we will find a digital trail because you do not have the authority to post such information,” Esquivel said.

“Listen only to the official pronouncement and advisory coming from the Department of Health and Public Information Office of Local Government Units and government offices. As a citizen, if you do not have a verified source, do not just repost it,” he added.


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