HEALTH OFFICIALS in Ireland have hit out those who spread 'fake news' that a number of Irish nurses had died while fighting Covid-19.
Over the weekend, news began circulating that as many as four nurses in the country had died as a result of coronavirus.
These stories have however since been debunked, sparking mass online criticism from social media users and as well as health officials.
Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health Tony Holohan described the stories as "hurtful" and warned against the potentially destructive consequences of spreading misinformation, particularly at a time like this.
He stressed that people should avoid amplifying unverified stories as much as possible, particularly in with the snowballing behemoth of social media.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has asked Paddy Cosgrave, founder of the annual technology conference Web Summit, to apologise after he tweeted that four nurses had died due to Covid-19.
On Monday, Mr Cosgrave tweeted condolences to the "4 nurses who fought so hard for so many patients, but who themselves fell ill, and have now passed. RIP."
INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha described his tweet as "scaremongering" and suggested that he could have needlessly alarmed the families of nurses around the country.
On Tuesday, the HSE themselves were forced to step in and publish their own tweet to debunk the swirling rumours.
"Contrary to tweets sent yesterday," they wrote, "thankfully none of our nurses have died from Covid-19."
Mr Cosgrove's tweet remains on his Twitter account, which has 55,000 followers.