ONE of the head doctors battling the COVID-19 response for Hunter New England Health is disturbed by conspiracy theories doing the rounds on social media.
Dr David Durrheim has been "disappointed" and "disturbed" by various claims on social media that COVID-19 was a hoax or "not the big deal" the media was making it out to be.
"Having spoken to family members that have been bereaved and lost loved ones due to COVID-19, it has made it very real to me, and our team takes this extremely seriously," the public health physician said.
"This virus is a killer. We don't have a vaccine against it and that is going to be our only way out of the situation of lock-down and restrictions.
"The conspiracy theorists are doing harm and damage, and are being very divisive."
Dr Durrheim said it was important people get honest information and facts and respond appropriately.
"At this time, all of us in the community need to work together to really starve this virus of any opportunity of spreading, and we don't need people who are spreading lies, falsehoods, and rumours that are so far removed from fact and science," he said.
On Tuesday, NSW recorded its highest number of daily COVID-19 cases in almost four months, with authorities reporting 22 positive test results in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday.