Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

Most fake news about the spread of the novel coronavirus in Russia come from abroad and are intended to sow panic among the Russian people, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

Putin made the remarks, quoting reports from Russia’s Federal Security Service, at a government meeting after Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova slammed fake messages on social media accusing the Russian government of concealing the real number of COVID-19 infection cases.

According to Golikova, only three cases have been confirmed in Russia, involving two Chinese nationals, who have already recovered, and one Russian national, who returned from Italy and is undergoing treatment.

Three other Russian nationals evacuated from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan are also being treated in the city of Kazan, she said.

At the government meeting, Putin called for timely, comprehensive and reliable information to counter fake news.

Also on Wednesday, Russian mass media and telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor said it had begun restricting access to some fake reports on the coronavirus on social media, including Facebook and Russia’s popular VK network. Enditem

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