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Greek Prosecutors Probing COVID-19 Fake News Stories Sites

November 21, 2020

ATHENS – With anti-mask groups and conspiracy theorists still trying to undercut the Greek government's health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Athens Prosecutor's office is looking into news sites spreading rumors and doubting the pandemic, which some of them said was a hoax. 

The sites also said that vaccines are a health threat after some groups and opponents of following health protocols to wear them said masks didn't work while others said the government is using the pandemic to control them.

The probe will focus on articles published in the Makeleio newspaperand the Eleftheri Ora newspaper on November 19, as well as a video of pop singer Grigoris Petrakοs in which he makes similar claims, which has been widely followed on the Internet, said Kathimerini.

The probe is being done to determine whether criminal acts have been committed, such as spreading false news, as well as incitement to disobedience and bringing a threat to public health.

Early in October, With COVID-19 spreading fast around the country, including food processing plants, the Athens Medical Association (AMA) warned against misinformation being spread by anti-masks groups and those who think the pandemic is a political hoax.

The defiers even include doctors, the AMA said, added it has reported several for disciplinary action over violation of medical ethics for allegedly “disseminating scientifically groundless opinions about the pandemic which put public health at risk.” The doctors being reported were not named, even to protect the public.

The doctors group recommended following the advice f the National Organization for Public Health and not be led astray “by obscurantist and groundless opinions” about the use of protective face masks and other measures designed to contain the Coronavirus still spreading.

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