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BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 10 -- Police have detained a woman to facilitate investigations into the spread of fake news claiming that a supermarket in Bandar Sunway, Seberang Jaya here was closed after being visited by a COVID-19 positive patient yesterday.
Seberang Perai Tengah district police chief ACP Shafee Abd Samad said the 33-year-old trader was detained yesterday following a police report lodged by the manager of the supermarket over the matter.
He said the woman was alleged to have posted a status on her Facebook account which reads “The suspected case at Flat Tuna has been confirmed positive. The patient went shopping at Billion, Bandar Sunway. Billion has been closed until a date to be announced later for sanitisation”.
“The post which was widely shared by netizens was later refuted by the supermarket management when they came to the know about it.
“Describing the allegation as slanderous, the management then lodged a police report,” he said in a statement today.
Shafee said based on initial investigation, the woman admitted to uploading the post on her Facebook after getting information regarding the matter from a WhatsApp group, with the intention of reminding her friends to be extra cautious.
However, he said the woman also admitted that she did not verify the authenticity of the information she received before sharing it.
"The woman also claimed that she had deleted the initial post upon knowing the truth,” he said adding that, although the post has been deleted, it has gone viral on social media.
Shafee said the case was being investigated under Section 500 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.