U-Turn by Yogi’s UP Govt; Now Says That Oximeters Weren’t for Cows
A UP government press note had stated that medical equipment like oximeters will be provided for cows in gaushalas.
After several news reports stated that the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to equip cow shelters in the state with oximeters and thermal scanners for cows, the state's Additional Chief Secretary (Information), Navneet Sehgal, in a total u-turn, has come out to claim that these reports are misleading and no such order has been passed.
A government press release dated 4 May, however, clearly stated that in addition to setting up help desks for cows in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi government is providing "all the medical equipment such as oximeters and thermal scanners for cows and other animals."
INITIAL COMMUNICATION BY UP GOVERNMENT
The initial media reports around the government's move were based on a press release sent to journalists across the state on 4 May. The press release details measures being taken by the government to ensure welfare of cows amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh.
It hails the work done by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ensure the well-being of cows in the state and says that the state government has issued instructions that all the cow shelters (gaushalas) must strictly follow the COVID-19 protocols, and has made the usage of masks and frequent thermal screening mandatory.
“Besides, the cow shelters (gaushalas) will also be equipped with all the medical equipment such as oximeters and thermal scanners for cows and other animals as well,” the press release stated.
THEN CAME THE CLARIFICATION
After news organisations like The Wire, The Indian Express and many published reports on the move, top officials in the government clarified that the medical equipment is being sent for staffers at the gaushalas and not for the cows.
Speaking to India Today, Additional Chief Secretary (Information), Navneet Sehgal said that no such order of using oximeters or thermal scanners for cows has been issued by the UP government.
Calling the news reports "misleading", he further said that the oximeters and other equipment will be installed for the staff at the shelters and not the cows.
The report does not mention anything about the press release issued by the government.
SOCIAL MEDIA REACTS
Many on social media are now calling out the initial reports which were based on actual communication by the UP government saying that the reports were fake.
Clearly, the UP government first issued a statement in a press release and later called it 'false information' after several news organisations published reports based on it.
This, however, is not the first time that errors in the government's press release have resulted in confusion for readers. Earlier this month, a press release sent over WhatsApp claimed that the Chief Minister has asked IIT Kanpur to explore possibilities of converting nitrogen to oxygen.
However, after the Times of India published a report on the same, the Chief Minister's Office issued a clarification on Twitter saying that IIT Kanpur has been asked to find out if nitrogen plants in the state can be used to produce oxygen.
Again, in April, the Yogi government sent out a press release falsely claiming that a study by Harvard had praised the state government's handling of the migrant crisis. Another press release by the UP government claimed that a case study by Johns Hopkins University has ranked Uttar Pradesh as one of the “toppers” in managing the coronavirus pandemic across the globe. Even this turned out to be false.
(With inputs from India Today)
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