Coronavirus email hoax sparked violent protests in …

An email that appeared to come from Ukraine’s health ministry containing false information about coronavirus cases in the country led to a series of violent protests and clashes with police, BuzzFeed News reports. The email originated outside of Ukraine, according to a government statement, and falsely claimed that there were five cases of coronavirus in the country. In reality, zero cases of the virus have been reported in Ukraine. But the email was sent the same day that evacuees from China landed in the country, and some Ukrainian residents protested the arrival of evacuees by blocking roads leading to medical facilities and, in some cases, breaking windows of buses carrying those evacuees. Ukrainian authorities issued a statement saying the reports were not true. In an attempt to calm citizens, the Public Health Center of Ukraine issued a statement saying that the reports of five coronavirus cases were false, and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a Facebook post saying the evacuees were healthy and would be quarantined for two weeks. Extra Caution Zelensky also urged citizens not to block their arrival. There have been only two confirmed cases of Ukrainians with the coronavirus, and they are among many who have been infected while on the cruise ship that docked off the coast of Japan. They have fully recovered, BuzzFeed News reports. With so many people searching online for information about the coronavirus, there is a continuing risk that people will come across misinformation and hoaxes about the disease, especially on social media like Facebook and Twitter that are ill-equipped to handle rapidly changing global news events and the flood of user-generated posts that accompany them. Recode has put together a good summary of some of the most pervasive corona virus hoaxes that have been widely shared. And we also have a guide on how to research information online and determine if it is false or misleading.