A Quezon City vaccination site became a victim of misinformation on Sunday after a large number of people seeking inoculation for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) trooped to the venue even without pre-approved schedules.
Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, himself rushed to the Araneta Coliseum mega vaccination hub after receiving reports of the large crowd, similar to the experience of inoculation hubs in Manila, Las Piñas, and Antipolo on Aug. 5.
Mayor Joy Belmonte reiterated the city has a pre-registration and scheduling system and walk-ins are never allowed.
“I’m appealing to online platforms to work with the government now, because what happened yesterday (Sunday), that was scary. That caused a super spreader event that could have endangered the lives and health of many of our citizens just because they were not quick to act when the local government had asked them to take down the post,” she said in a news channel interview on Monday.
Belmonte also condemned “shameless individuals” who spread fake news on social media and sabotage the city’s vaccination program by urging people to walk in.
“Exercise your conscience. You are literally endangering the lives of countless men, women, and children. If we cannot ask you to stop, we will charge you with reckless endangerment, violation of cybercrime law, and unjust vexation,” Belmonte said in a statement on Sunday partly in Filipino.
She also appealed to national law enforcement agencies to investigate the posts and file the necessary charges even as she asked the public to be wary of social media posts and rely on the city’s official Facebook page.
She added social media platforms can curb the spread of fake news by permanently banning those who post such.
The city government, meanwhile, reset the vaccination at Ever Gotesco mall along Commonwealth Avenue to Tuesday after a fire that hit the supermarket warehouse before dawn on Monday.