India’s Roadmap for Exiting Lockdown in 5 Phases? Nope, Not Really
The forward describes elaborately what activities will be allowed in each stage and how the lockdown will be lifted.
A long document which lists the way forward out of the coronavirus lockdown is being widely circulated on social media with the insinuation that this is the government’s plan for exiting the lockdown in five phases.
Only, its not the Indian government’s plan, but the roadmap drawn up by the government of Ireland for the next few months. India has not announced any such roadmap yet.
The document begins with, “Government's roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions will be set out in 5 phases. These phases will be on 3 week review process, the current phases would commence on the following dates: Phase 1 - 18th May, Phase 2 - 8th June, Phase 3 - 29th June, Phase 4 - 20th July, Phase 5 - 10th August”.
Neatly divided into phases, the forward then goes on to describe elaborately what activities will and won’t be allowed in each stage and how the lockdown will slowly be lifted.
Each step of the roadmap eases restrictions on people a little bit more. Below is a screenshot of a part of the WhatsApp forward, received by The Quint from multiple readers on our helpline asking for verification.
The forward was also shared on Twitter by Indian social media users.
It was also shared on Twitter.
WHAT WE FOUND
On running a Google search with keywords, we came across the website of the government of Ireland, which had on 1 May published an elaborate roadmap as the plan for exiting lockdown in the country.
We could see that the dates of the phases mentioned were the same as in the viral forward.
Further, we looked at the steps mentioned in the various phases and found that they looked somewhat similar to some of the points mentioned in the forward doing the rounds.
We then studied a detailed document available on their website, which gave exact information about which activities would be allowed during each phase and how those should be carried out and were able to match them exactly.
Further, we found some terms and phrases in the forward that made it unlikely to pertain to India.
It is mentioned in the second phase that restrictions will be extended from 5km to 20 km, but in the Indian lockdown, no mention of a specific distance such as 5km has ever been made. Further “cocooning” is not a term popular in India with regard to the lockdown, and terms such as social distancing and self-isolating are the usual phrases used.
Further, we reached out to the Ministry of Home Affairs that said that there was nothing official about the information and that any information about measures regarding the lockdown was sent out on Twitter or through a press release.
Moreover, the government of India’s official fact-checking body also took to Twitter to bust the same forward, clearly stating that the roadmap had not been made by the Indian government.
We also came across a report which said that the same forward had also gone viral as the Singapore government’s plan.
We were also able to trace the forward to a Facebook post from 5 May by a UK-based page which seemed to be one of the earliest to write out this version of the lockdown exit plan. Their post had over 58k shares.
Evidently, the forward doing the rounds purportedly as the government of India’s plan to exit lockdown is actually the Ireland government’s plan.
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