Author: Tronserve admin
Sunday 25th July 2021 05:28 AM
Alarm Rung! Pandemic Turned Money, Really?
There is shocking news all over the world every single minute on the Covid-19 spread and its repercussions. Many cities and regions are locked down everywhere. Cities that never sleep before are resting in a total quiet. The news on war, politics, education, human rights etc. are not the top headlines anymore. No other, but one hot news hitting online is – Covid-19.
The Guardian released an article on the global economic impact of coronavirus about one month ago on the time when Covid-19 becomes a pandemic. It says,
“The coronavirus could cost the global economy more than $1tn in lost output if it turns into a pandemic, according to a leading economic forecaster. Oxford Economics warned that the spread of the virus to regions outside Asia would knock 1.3% off global growth this year, the equivalent of $1.1tn in lost income.” 
Italy’s prime minister has demanded the EU to use “the full firepower” of its €500bn rescue fund to confront the continent’s economic crisis.  The Financial Times reported that Mr. Giuseppe Conte warned against relying on monetary policy to counter a “global shock that has no precedents.” 
Most parts of the world are facing losses. Every business is in crisis whether small, medium, or large. The working population is in panic due to the high potential of losing their job. Many governments are looking into their reserve funds in case they would need to respond with unexpected measures to combat this viral decease.
Shockingly, there are some people out there who want to take advantage of the viral disease and make money out of it. Yes, it is shocking.
Last Saturday, Cambodian joint forces carried out a crack down on the import of more than 4,000 liters of methanol from Vietnam destined for illegal production of alcohol-based sanitizers in the capital, Phnom Penh. The crackdown was carried out by the department of the Anti-Economic Crime Police which is part of Interior Ministry, in cooperation with officials from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, and local authorities under the coordination of a Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor. The raiding team seized methanol imported from Vietnam stored in 19 barrels containing 1,950 litres and 75 containers containing 2,250 litres as well as one pumping equipment. 
The containers were labelled as having been imported from Malaysia but are actually from Vietnam, admitted the 61-year-old trader Mr. Lim Huy. He also said his customers bought those methanol to produce alcohol-based sanitizers that can harm consumers’ health.”  Such sanitizers could contain as much as 80 percent methyl alcohol, or methanol. It can be absorbed into the skin and is harmful to health. It can even be life-threatening if used as alcoholic drinks.
The military-owned MyTel which is a Myranmar-based telecom has been reported to use fake news posts about Covid-19 and other misleading topics on politics and religion on Facebook in order to earn traffic to their content unethically.
Many of the fake news Facebook pages that are based in Myanmar and Vietnam, had posed as sources of independent news and commentary on the telecom industry. However, they were actually linked to Burmese telecom provider Mytel, Vietnamese provider Viettel and Vietnamese PR firm Gapit Communications, according to Facebook itself. 
Others shared general ‘life hacks’ or patriotic content, according to The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which analyzed several of the pages before Facebook removed them. These pages had innocuous names such as Myanmar Life, Myanmar Knowledge and Smart Life for Myanmar. But all “gradually... shifted to content promoting the MyTel brand,” Jean le Roux, a research associate at the lab, wrote in a blog post. 
“I would like to advise all social media users to think carefully before they share something on Facebook. Recently, we found out that some websites have been sharing disinformation about the virus, like how many have died in Myanmar due to COVID-19. Many people are sharing it without knowing it is a clickbait website” said Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) Assistant Director Dr. Htoo Myint Swe in an interview with The Irrawady news. He further mentioned that it is very crucial to fight fake news in the time of coronavirus. A piece of fake news, a photo or a status could easily provoke the public to panic. 
An article written by Thaw Zin Myo on Myanmar Now indirectly accused even Facebook itself of making money out of the spread of fake news on Covid-19 as well as other political and celebrity news via Facebook Instant Articles. 
These two examples are good pointers of scam or forgery resulting out of the pandemic that happened right here in the region. It shows that product and information can be both manipulated by dirty businesspeople. There are many people who are doing their level best to combat the widespread Covid-19, and some are fueling the pandemic by producing counterfeit products and spreading forged and malicious news just to get extra traffic or clicks on ads.
It is really shocking to see people who are so willing to make profit out of the pandemic by resorting to dirty ways of doing business. It is time to not only foil their plans but also act against the scammers as if they’re another type of viral virus.
 The Guardian
 Financial Times
 Khmer Times
 Myanmar Now
 The Irrawaddy
 Myanmar Now