No Lockdown Extension Announcement Yet, Fake Bulletin Goes Viral!
The image in circulation is a morphed version of the bulletin ran by India Today on 24 March.
Amid the ongoing 21-day-lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra to combat the spread of coronavirus, a viral image which is supposedly a screengrab of a bulletin ran by India Today claims that the lockdown has been extended till 4 May.
The Quint received multiple queries to verify the claim being made in the image on its WhatsApp helpline.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claim along with the video is false. The image in circulation is an altered version of the bulletin ran by India Today on 24 March. Further, there was no report or announcement made by the central government regarding the extension of the lockdown at the time of publishing this article.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We scrolled through the videos uploaded by India Today regarding the lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We found that the viral image is a morphed version of the bulletin uploaded by the channel on 24 March. The bulletin is titled as “PM Modi Coronavirus Address; Announces Nationwide Lockdown For Three Weeks.”
There are several visual differences and similarities in the bulletin run by India Today and the image that is viral. For instance, at 10: 55 minutes in the bulletin (right), the top band mentioning ‘PM ADDRESSES NATION’ is the same as the one seen in the viral image (left). The layout and the colour scheme is also the same in both the images.
However, they differ in their centre text. While the viral image mentions that a nationwide lockdown has been "increased till 4 May", the bulletin only mentions ‘All-India lockdown from midnight.’
As far as the lower band is concerned, the bulletin only mentions ‘India under lockdown’ and nothing about the dates being increased. Further, while the text below the lower band constantly keeps changing, nowhere does the bulletin mention that the lockdown has been extended.
It is also noteworthy that the attire of PM Modi is the same in both the images.
Regarding the date format used in the viral image, it does not corroborate with the one used by the channel. We found a bulletin uploaded on Monday, 30 March in which 14 April is written as “APR 14” which is not on the lines of the format used in the viral image.
We also scanned other bulletins ran by India Today channel on lockdown-related news. However, we could not find any of them mentioning the claims made in the viral image.
The government on Monday, 30 March, had said that there was no plan to extend the 21-day lockdown which came into force on 24 March midnight. The Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had tweeted saying Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has denied media reports claiming that the government will extend the nationwide lockdown.
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