In a recent announcement, the Fact Check Unit of Press Information Bureau (PIB) has confirmed that a Whatsapp message circulating COVID-19 updates and developments is not legitimate. The message, claiming to be official press releases issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has been publicly called out for inciting fake news and creating disarray amidst the already chaotic atmosphere of COVID-19. The government has mandated agencies and individuals to keep away from fake news to maintain peace and sanctity during the tumultuous times of the virulent pandemic.
The recent confirmation asserts that the Whatsapp messages in concern are absolutely fake and illegitimate, sparking widespread discussions about the legitimacy of messages that are being regularly circulated all over the internet. It has been further stated that no such official release has been publicly announced by India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The news has managed to shock many while others claim that the practice of circulating fake news has become rampant in the nation.
The PIB Fact Check team shared an image of the said press release from its official Twitter handle tweeted on April 15, 2021 stating, “A message circulating on WhatsApp enumerating several COVID-19 related inputs is #falsely claiming to be a press release put out by the Ministry of Health.#PIBFactCheck The claims made in the message are #Fake. No such Press Release has been issued by the ©MoHFW_INDIA.” The incident has been criticized by many as an attempt to cull recovery efforts by ill-wishers.
PIB’s Fact Check Unit has asserted that the purported fake press release by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare claimed, “The fears expressed earlier regarding the spread of COVID-19 in India for the last 3-4 weeks were finally confirmed today in the press release issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).” While confirming the lack of its veracity, PIB has asserted that a dedicated team has been dutifully set up to counter rumors that are regularly spread all across the internet by both individuals and agencies in the name of the Indian government and its associates. PIB is working dedicatedly to check the spread of fake news on all social media platforms.
The Twitter handle, ‘PIB Fact Check’ is a verified platform that continues to monitor the spread of viral fake messages and posts. The pandemic has induced fear in the hearts of the people, which is further worsened by the spread of illegitimate news. The Indian government has been continuously putting efforts to stop the spread of such news that triggers mass hysteria during times of crisis.