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Washington, DC, April 9, 2020 (PAHO) – A guide for journalists with tips for reporting on the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was released today by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

"COVID-19. An informative guide. Advice for journalists" offers tools to help journalists practice responsible coverage of the pandemic, using evidence-based information. It also proposes ways to approach coverage and encourages journalists to provide advice and solutions that can help reduce health risks and save lives.

"Information is a vital tool for encouraging people to take the available preventive measures to protect and save lives. In that context, the media must be ethical and responsible when reporting on COVID-19, since people will probably listen to their guidance," says PAHO in the guide.

According to PAHO, having clear, timely, and accurate information from reliable sources is vital for people in various situations during this pandemic. The information that is given should acknowledge uncertainty and help people protect themselves and prepare for different possible scenarios during the pandemic. This is essential for containing the spread of COVID-19 and the fears associated with it, and for mitigating its impact on health workers and the general population.

"Journalists have the power to tell stories and inspire people to act collectively. Solidarity among individuals, communities, and organizations will be needed to overcome this epidemic," says PAHO in the guide.