Austrian university to counter conspiracy theories, misinformation on novel coronavirus

Photo taken on Jan. 22, 2020 shows an exterior view of the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO on Wednesday night extended to Thursday its emergency talks on whether the novel coronavirus outbreak in China constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). (Xinhua/Liu Qu)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has commissioned a rapid response team from an Austrian university to counter conspiracy theories and misinformation around the novel coronavirus, according to a report published by the Austria Press Agency (APA) on Wednesday.

The WHO has asked Professor Gerald Gartlehner, head of evidence-based medicine and evaluation at the Danube University Krems, to form an emergency team to produce evidence-based summaries of studies on the novel coronavirus, according to APA.

The team, consisting of ten scientific staff and students, will support the WHO by reviewing studies and reports on the novel coronavirus within 24 hours, allowing the WHO to base its decisions on reliable facts.

“Preparing and analyzing information for decision-makers is the specialty of our department, and years of experience makes us experts in this field,” said the scientist, who promised the “best possible support” to the WHO. Enditem

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