Government has warned those peddling information on Covid-19 test results without authority as this causes unnecessarily panic and inhibits efforts to contain the pandemic.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa last night said only the office of the Secretary of Health and Child Care had lawful authority to issue statistics regarding Covid-19.

Speaking after a meeting of the National Covid-19 Taskforce held at State House she said: “The National Taskforce has noted with concern several reports of persons who are not authorised to issue statements and information regarding Covid-19 test results. This has led to misinformation that causes unnecessary panic and affects efforts to respond to the pandemic.

“The official communication of Covid-19 test results to all publics is the sole responsibility of the Secretary for Health and Child Care. This is in order to prevent what the World Health Organisation calls ‘infordemics’, which is an excess amount of information concerning a problem which makes solutions difficult,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Dr Gibson Mhlanga is the Acting Secretary for Health, while Prof Amon Murwira is the acting Health Minister.

Minister Mutsvangwa said if an employee tested positive to Covid-19, the employer should immediately close the work premises until it was thoroughly disinfected and should only reopen after other employees in contact with him or her have been tested.

She implored everyone to play a role given the rising deaths and confirmed cases of Covid-19.