A lot of confusion was created among the citizens of Himachal Pradesh as they stumbled upon a message claiming that the state government has decided to impose a curfew for an indefinite period. The message surfaced on social media shortly after the start of a meeting of top ministers of the state on Saturday, May 23, prompting many to believe it.
The message further claimed that all the offices in the state are ordered to remain shut for three days from May 24 to May 26.
There has been a sudden spike in the number of novel coronavirus cases in Himachal Pradesh and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had called upon a cabinet meeting to discuss strategies and measures to contain the spread of the fatal virus.
Fact-checking the viral message
As the message spread rapidly, it resulted in a sort of a ruckus in some areas of the state, with people running off to grocery stores to stock up on essential items. However, when the news of the indefinite curfew was brought to the notice of the authorities, the government issued a clarification without wasting any time.
The Information And Public Relations Department of Himachal Pradesh refuted the reports of the curfew as fake and assured citizens that no such decision has been taken by the state government. It also appealed to people to be wary of such false news as it could disrupt the social distancing norms and further increase the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
"The message circulating on social media about imposing a curfew for an indefinite period by the state government and closing of offices from 24-26 May is fake. No such directions have been issued and curfew would remain as per previous instructions," the department was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
COVID-19 cases near 200-mark in Himachal Pradesh
The return of migrants from different parts of the country spurred a sizable increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Himachal Pradesh, which was on the verge of defeating the China-originated virus.
The state currently as 185 patients of the deadly disease including 57 recoveries and 3 deaths.