The Health Minister has issued a stark warning to anti-vaccination and anti-mask campaigners to "put their tin foil hats back in the drawer".
obin Swann was speaking out after it emerged that leaflets have been delivered claiming officials are not telling the full facts about Covid-19.
The leaflets state as fact that Covid-19 has been recorded "fraudulently" on death certificates.
"You're being lied to," it reads, while directing people to a range of websites that cast doubt on the validity of the pandemic.
Mr Swann said: "During this pandemic, I have repeatedly warned people not to get distracted by noise or conspiracy theories on social media or elsewhere.
"Keyboard warriors can sit safely at home and promote distorted agendas against vaccines and masks. I would ask to them to put their tin foil hats back in the drawer, but I doubt they would listen.
"I am confident the people of Northern Ireland will not fall for their attempts to create confusion and hysteria.
"The facts are clear. Covid-19 has claimed many lives and continues to do so. The Executive's response continues to be guided by expert medical and scientific advice. Governments in many other jurisdictions are following similar paths.
"It is very easy to criticise, very easy to spout conspiracy theories.
"The localised restrictions ministers announced last week have been accused of being both anti-business and pro-business. They have been depicted as being both too lax and too strict.
"My job is to do what's best for the people of Northern Ireland. My message to the public remains the same - keep following public health advice to keep yourself and others safe."
Alliance Party councillor Amanda Grehan echoed Mr Swann's comments and said "countless lives have been saved" as a result of people following Government advice.
"Now we have an unknown group spreading fear through the distribution of leaflets containing what they claim is an evidence-based analysis," she said.
"They are deliberately using the official government colours in order to cause confusion amongst the community. At this time of emergency, this action is reprehensible and must be condemned."