The internet gives access to a vast trove of information. Amid the growing influence of electronic media, it has become equally challenging to combat fake news. The novel coronavirus has opened up a plethora of misleading claims on social media and other online platforms, concerning the disease, its supposed cures, and conspiracy theories about the pandemic. In the latest, an excerpt from Yo! Vizag’s article ‘Entire GVMC area to be treated as containment zone for full 2 weeks’ which was published three months ago is being misquoted on social media now.
The article titled ‘Entire GVMC area to be treated as containment zone for full 2 weeks’ was posted online on 3 May 2020. At that point in time, the Visakhapatnam district tally stood at 29. In view of the cases, the district authorities had then initiated a complete lockdown in areas under the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) for two weeks. For the last two days, the first few lines of the article along with the headline have been doing rounds, sparking panic among residents. This is to clarify our readers that the excerpt from the article has been quoted out of context.
With Vizag COVID-19 tally surpassing 7000 cases, the district administration is taking measures to amp up the medical facilities as well as the testing strategy. However, Visakhapatnam District Collector, V Vinay Chand has not announced a lockdown. Only those areas in which COVID-19 cases were reported to have been demarcated as containment clusters. Confirming the news, Visakhapatnam District Collectorate Administrative Officer (AO), Ram Mohan, in a conversation with Yo! Vizag, informed, “Considering the financial aspects, the officials opined that opting for a lockdown at this juncture will result in the further decline of the already affected economy. Hence, the district authorities do not plan to initiate a lockdown.”
In view of the current situation, it is understandable that the public is eager to receive the latest developments. However, it is our sincere request to the readers to verify the authenticity of the information.