Assaf booklet aims to debunk COVID-19 misinformation

Academy of Science members and researchers have collaborated to create an easy-to-understand information booklet on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on society.

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CAPE TOWN - The Academy of Science of South Africa is doing something to try and stem the tide of COVID-19 misinformation.

Be it misconceptions about how you get the virus or how you treat it or the benefits of vaccines, a new booklet aims to be a primer for anyone with questions.

Academy of Science members and researchers have collaborated to create an easy-to-understand information booklet on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on society.

UCT Emeritus Professor Anwar Mall said that the booklet would be updated regularly.

"We live in a large and heterogeneous society and many people won't have access to this information, many will be vulnerable to social media and misrepresentation of facts, so why don't we direct a document to the public."

Professor of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital, Marc Mendelson, was one of the contributors.

He's stressed the importance of psychological support for patients.

"We have a fantastic psychiatrist at our hospital, Professor Jackie Hall, who has been pretty much single-handedly taking on these patients and helping and supporting them, with the staff."

The COVID-19 booklet launch forms part of National Science Week. It will be made available to schools through a collaboration with the Basic Education Department.

Click links to access booklet: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11911/194 or http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/assaf.2021/0072