Mumbai Under Military Lockdown From Sat? CM, Army Say Fake News
An army representative confirmed that the viral message, claiming Mumbai will be under military lockdown, was fake.
The total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Maharashtra stands at 17,974, with over 11,000 cases in Mumbai alone, as per the numbers shared by Maharashtra’s health department on Thursday, 7 May.
Now, a viral message claims that the entire city of Mumbai is going to be ‘placed under military lockdown for 10 days from Saturday, 9 May’. However, both the Indian Army and Mumbai Police have called the message ‘fake’.
The message further urges people to stockpile everything, including vegetables and groceries. It further mentions that only milk and medicines will be available.
Several social media users are sharing the message on Twitter and Facebook with similar claims.
A Facebook user ‘Vikas Mukadam’ also shared a video along with the claim.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The claims being made in the viral message have been called out as fake by both the Indian Army and Mumbai Police.
Speaking to The Quint, Colonel Anand, PRO of the Indian Army, said that the message in question is fake.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, while addressing the state on Friday, too, rejected rumours of the Indian Army being called in to curb the spread of coronavirus in Mumbai.
“We are planning to ask the Centre to provide us with additional policing force, if required, as we also need to give rest to our police force at some point. But, this doesn’t mean we are calling the military," he said.
Further, Mumbai Police took to Twitter and mentioned that neither the army nor paramilitary forces are being called in to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It also stated that there is no need to hoard essential items.
WHAT ABOUT THE VIDEO?
The man seen in the video does not mention anything about a “military lockdown” being imposed in the city, as claimed in the message. Rather, the man only talks about how people should stay in their homes and how everybody must close all the businesses in the area.
His speech, when translated to English, reads: “People should stay in their houses. Only medical stores, clinics and milk dairies will remain open. Buy whatever you need within the next two days. We will be enforcing a 100 percent lockdown after that. From 8 to 17 (May). During this period, we must keep all businesses closed in the area and stay in our homes as much as possible to break the chain of coronavirus. We are constantly asking people to stay in their homes but people are venturing outside in the name of buying (essentials). As a result, we are finding COVID-19 patients in every galli. If we don’t become cautious now, there will be a positive patient in every house going forward.”
While it’s clear that the man in the video does not mention anything about the army or paramilitary forces, The Quint hasn’t independently verified the claims made by him in the video.
Evidently, an alarmist message was used to falsely claim that entire Mumbai city will be placed under military lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.
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