Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – Communication and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate said that the ministry had found 148 hoaxes related to the COVID-19 spread as of Monday.
The reported number of false and fake information came after Indonesia confirmed its first two confirmed cases.
"Please don't produce and spread hoaxes," said the minister in Jakarta on Tuesday. "It is harmful for everyone."
He went on to say that people who produce and spread hoaxes would be "punishable under the Electronic Information and Transactions Law (UU ITE) with six years imprisonment and a Rp. 1 billion (US$70,290) fine."
"This is not the only issue within the country, but it is a global problem," he said.
The pneumonia-like illness has infected some 90,000 people in more than 60 countries with at least 3,100 casualties as of Tuesday.
Johnny said that with the discovery of two COVID-19 patients, all Indonesian citizens were responsible for limiting the spread of the virus and helping Indonesia remain calm and safe.