With coronavirus cases on the rise once again across the country, grim scenarios from last year threaten to make an uninvited entry. At the district level, Visakhapatnam too has been seeing the number of fresh cases go up by the day; even making it to the list of the Centre’s 70 ‘districts of concern‘ in India. And given the trend, speculations around lockdown have run rife. Adding fuel to fire, a news clipping, claiming lockdown in Visakhapatnam, has gone viral on social media.
The video clip shows a news byte from Sakshi which says that the districts of Visakhapatnam, Krishna, and Prakasam, in Andhra Pradesh, will be under lockdown. It further reports that trains and interstate bus services will be suspended under 31 March. A reporter adds that Section 144 has been imposed across the district and a gathering of more than 4 people would not be allowed. With the news clipping being shared widely on WhatsApp and other social media platforms, several citizens have contacted Yo! Vizag to check if the authorities have indeed imposed a lockdown once again in Visakhapatnam.
The clipping, however, is from live coverage by Sakshi TV in 2020. The authorities have clarified that as of now, no lockdown is being imposed in Visakhapatnam. Responding to the viral clip, Regional Manager, APSRTC, Visakhapatnam, said, “Last year’s news clipping, regarding stoppage of busses, is going viral on social media. All APSRTC buses are running and passengers can travel in all buses wearing masks.”
Busting the claim, several other officials have also said that the APSRTC buses are operating as per schedule in the region. Urging the public to not believe is rumours and all that is shared on social media, the authorities have sought strict action against those spreading panic among the public.
Yo! Vizag also got in touch with the Principal of Andhra Medical College, who is also the Special Officer for COVID-19 in Visakhapatnam, Dr PV Sudhakar, to check on the same. Brushing away the rumours, he stated that there are no plans to impose lockdown in Visakhapatnam.