COVID-19: Blanket Holidays Declared In 4 States? Fake Alert!
Sources in the Health Ministry have confirmed to The Quint that the circular has not been issued by the ministry.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of the Health Ministry, said on Friday, 13 March, that till now, there have been 81 confirmed coronavirus cases in India, out of which 64 are Indians, 16 Italians and one a Canadian national.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, social media has been flooded with a deluge of misinformation with fact-checkers working round the clock to debunk false claims.
A viral ‘Office Memorandum’ being circulated claims that the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued a clarification regarding declaration of holidays in four states, namely Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Sikkim.
This holiday has been ‘declared’ from 14 to 21 March and says that in case of any violation, a fine of Rs 5,000 will be imposed.
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The Quint received multiple queries about the claim in this ‘circular’ via its WhatsApp helpline, so here’s the fact-check.
WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
The Ministry of Health issued a clarification on Twitter and called the viral “official memorandum” fake.
The PIB release mentions that it “has NOT BEEN issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Necessary action under extant law is being initiated.”
Further, sources in the Health Ministry also confirmed to The Quint that the circular has not been issued by the ministry.
Moreover, in the viral circular, the word “Gujrat” has been misspelled. We compared the viral circular with an official memorandum released by the ministry and found some glaring differences.
The name Rajender Kumar has been spelled as Rajendra Kumar in the viral circular.
The official circular has also been copied to ‘Prl Secy/ Secy H of all States/UTs’ – but the viral circular has not been copied to any official.
You can read all our fact-check stories on coronavirus here.
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