A viral message has been spreading on social media, claiming that UNHCR is alerting the public about Myanmarese and Bangladeshi refugees are refusing to get tested for COVID-19.
UNHCR has issued an official statement confirming that the message is FAKE. Here are the details!
UNHCR Claims That Refugees Are Refusing COVID-19 Tests?
This is the fake UNHCR message has gone viral on social media :
This is issued by UNHCR –
Four bus loads of Myanmarese Muslims and Bangladeshis attended the Sri Petaling event. The illegals are afraid they will be arrested if they go for testing. The refugee chat group is having problems trying to persuade these migrants and illegals to be tested.
They are working in restaurants and in the Selayang market.
Beware where you order your take-away food from. Really better cook your own, eventhough you may have to eat Instant Oats for two weeks.
The hoax refers to the Tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling mosque, which has led to a large number of COVID-19 infections.
It also leveraged on recent reports of Tabligh participants REFUSING to get tested for COVID-19.
However, it is still FAKE NEWS.
UNHCR Refugees Refusing Tests HOAX Debunked!
UNHCR today issued a statement that unequivocally denounce the message as completely FAKE.
They never issued a warning that Myanmarese and Bangladeshi refugees are refusing to get tested for COVID-19.
It is important to point out that sharing such fake messages will create “unnecessary fear and distrust towards refugees“, and discourage them from “seeking help when they need it“.
So please STOP sharing such fake news!
UNHCR has received reports of a WhatsApp message allegedly being sent out by UNHCR regarding refugees unwilling to get tested for COVID-19.
Please be advised that this message is FAKE, and has not been issued by UNHCR.
This message creates unnecessary fear and distrust towards refugees, and it contributes to pushing refugees even further into the margins causing distress in the communities and preventing them from seeking help when they need it.
It is important that we all act responsibly and in solidarity with those who are in a weaker position than us no matter the reason in this challenging situation.
For the last few weeks, UNHCR has been coordinating closely with the Ministry of Health in order to ensure that refugee communities are included in the Government’s national response measures and to support the Government’s response.
Here are some key measures we have taken:
• Making sure that updated information is distributed to refugees quickly in languages they understand. This includes informing refugees that, if they have symptoms, they can get tested and treated for free like everyone else.
• We have also set up an information portal called refugee-malaysia.org where all refugees and organisations supporting refugees can get information on where to find help and services for refugees. This includes the COVID-19 restriction of movement order issued by the Government.
• There are also Hotlines in several languages for refugees who may not be able to access the national crisis Hotlines. We will also make available UNHCR interpreters to provide translation services at public hospitals for refugees.
• UNHCR is also prepared to assist the Government with contact tracing efforts in cases involving refugees.
• Most importantly, all our essential protection, health and assistance services will continue for refugees during the movement control order.
If you work with refugees and have questions to ask about services, visit www.refugee-malaysia.org to get information and Hotline numbers.
COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!
Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :
- Avoid suspected cases or disease hotpots, like hospitals, if possible!
- Avoid public events and crowds
- Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
- Keep our home, office, vehicles, etc. clean
- If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
- Thoroughly cook your food, and boil water before drinking
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