While blasting the circulation of a Whatsapp message claiming a possible Coronavirus case here in the Territory, Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Fahie first assured members of the House of Assembly on 27 February that there is no such case in the Territory and that this is a case of abuse of cybercrime loopholes.
While emphasizing that at the time he was speaking the BVI was Coronavirus free the BVI Leader declared, “It is most highly unlikely that the case that is being purported in the public domain would be Coronavirus, but we still have to wait for the final test results —there is a possibility, yes, but it is most unlikely not to be so we don’t have any reported cases.”
As he noted that it was unfortunate and distasteful that someone’s photo was appended to the alleged Coronavirus alert the BVI Leader echoed his disgust for such false alarms. “What I am saying is this – the irreversible damage done to that person today with his picture or the alleged person’s picture all over. That’s the kind of things that destroy people’s life forever. Those are the same reasons we are enforcing that same Cybercrime Act.”
“If you are not sure stop spreading them things on Whatsapp and all about because somebody is going to be made an example soon and when they are made an example, they going to bawl out ‘look what Fahie do’. It ain’t what Fahie do. I warning all the time. If you don’t have facts, stop destroying people until you get the facts,” the Premier sternly warned.
During the press conference that was held to quell the rumor on that very day, Hon. Fahie first decried the circulation of this and other rumors via the platform Whatsapp. Hon. Fahie told the media, “Every morning you wake up in this country you get four or five WhatsApp telling you all sorts of things, long on rumors short on facts. So we wanted to make sure that the whole dissemination of what we have been doing comes from official sources.”
The BVI Leader added, “It’s difficult to ever contain anything in the world now, because in one WhatsApp post, or one Facebook post saying whatever… whether it turns out to be factual or not, in the time that it is released can create havoc.”