Due to the rising number of cases of coronavirus in India, PM Narendra Modi called for a nationwide lockdown. People are asked not to panic, but everyone must remain cautious. However, some rumors and misinformation about coronavirus can cause panic and unrest among people. In one such instance, a viral audio clip is making the rounds on WhatsApp groups, making some outrageous claims.
In the audio clip, which is a recording of a call, the voice can be heard claiming that there have been 59 positive cases in one day in Nagpur and the government is trying to hide it. Moreover, it says Nagpur has over 200 cases and that there are no proper technicians to test it. These claims are bound to create panic, especially when the total number of coronavirus cases reported in India so far is a little over 600 as of this writing.
In the audio clip, the person can be heard saying the entire city is put on lockdown.
There are several giveaways as to why the viral audio clip is fake. It looks like people are having a conversation and there's just one person who is making all the claims about such a high number of cases. The person is not identified, there is no official reference and everything about it appears too shady.
In order to prevent further panic from the viral audio clip, Divisional commissioner Sanjeev Kumar warned against spreading such fake clips. The district administration of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) also issued a clarification on Tuesday saying the audio clip is "totally false" and "baseless."
In addition to that, Kumar said "Since one week, there is not a single positive case in the city although many suspects have been identified and are being tested daily. Even those coming from neighboring states like Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh are arriving here for testing. The government has established state-of-the-art Virus Research Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH) for Covid-19 testing."
People are urged to believe information only from trusted sources such as WHO and in case of Nagpur, the NMC.