The state of Gujarat has gradually emerged as one of the epicenters of the novel coronavirus in the country. On the second spot behind Maharashtra in the list of states with the most number of COVID-19 positive cases, Gujarat appears to be struggling in containing the rampant spread of the fatal virus.
Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara have been the most affected cities in Gujarat as they currently have the maximum number of patients. Out of the total 6,625 infected in the state, 4,716 are from Ahmedabad while Surat and Vadodara have 754 and 421 cases each.
In a bid to break the chain of transmission, the state authorities on Wednesday, May 6, announced that a complete lockdown will be imposed in Ahmedabad and Surat. All the shops except for those selling milk and medicines have been ordered to remain shut in both the cities for a whole one week.
Soon after the news of total shutdown in Ahmedabad and Surat came out, a message started doing the rounds of social media stating that similar restrictions will be enforced in Vadodara as well.
What does the viral message say?
Circulating among the residents of Vadodara, the message says that a complete lockdown has been imposed in the city and that it will come into effect from Thursday, May 7 midnight. It also suggests that people should stock up on necessary items as most of the shops will remain shut.
"As per internal information, Vadodara will be declared shutdown from today midnight. So kindly arrange groceries and vegetables for 10 days. Forwarded as received," the message reads.
Here is its snippet:
A message carrying such crucial information can create panic among residents and can even lead to violation of social distancing norms. Thus, checking the credibility of such pieces becomes extremely necessary and that is why when Vadodara authorities came to know of the message, they immediately dismissed it as false.
Taking to Twitter, Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) clarified that no orders of total shutdown in the city have been passed and also warned against the spreading of misleading messages.
Besides, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Vinod Rao also dubbed it as fake news and appealed to people to not fall for it. "We do not plan any shutdown. Our alternative strategies for containment will be announced later today," he said.
Therefore, the news that Vadodara is enforcing Ahmedabad and Surat-like lockdown to curb COVID-19 is false.