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Coronavirus: Police deny claim Dutch air force was set to disinfect streets

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Dutch police have issued a warning over the spreading of misinformation about the country's coronavirus response.
Dutch police have issued a warning over the spreading of misinformation about the country's coronavirus response.   -   Copyright  Peter Dejong/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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Dutch police have stepped up their warnings against the spreading of misinformation over coronavirus on social media.

A false message circulating on Twitter, alongside the police logo, stated that the country's air force would be disinfecting the streets over the weekend.

A similar warning appeared on messaging platform WhatsApp, urging citizens to keep all doors and windows closed.

But Dutch police have stated the messages are "not true" and have asked for people to remove them from social media.

The Royal Air Force of the Netherlands also stated that the message was "incorrect" and directed citizens to the official measures announced by the Dutch government.

Twitter says they have "invested significantly in our proactive abilities" to reduce disinformation about COVID-19 on their platform.

And in a statement to Euronews, WhatsApp added that they urge "all users to check the facts online before sharing messages that have been forwarded to them".

"We encourage users to engage directly with trusted and official sources for important information.”

On March 16, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that all Dutch citizens should work from home where possible and keep a distance of 1.5-metres apart if they travelled.

Schools, nurseries and many public services in the country are closed until April 6.