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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Kolkata: One more arrested for ‘spreading fake news’ about coronavirus pandemic

In a series of messages on a WhatsApp group, the New Alipore woman claimed that 15 people in her neighbourhood, and two near her home, had been found positive for COVID-19.

Written by Neha Banka | Kolkata | Updated: March 31, 2020 5:42:14 am
coronavirus, coronavirus kolkata, coronavirus cases kolkata, Mamata Banerjee coronavirus, coronavirus india, coronavirus latest case, kolkata news She was charged under Section 505(1)(b) of the IPC —which punishes actions that intend to cause, or which are likely to cause, fear or alarm in the public — and produced in court. (File Photo)

Kolkata Police has arrested another person for allegedly spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.

A woman in her thirties was arrested from the city’s New Alipore area Sunday, two days after a 29-year-old woman was held for allegedly claiming that a doctor at Beliaghata ID Hospital here had caught the COVID-19 infection while treating patients.

In a series of messages on a WhatsApp group, the New Alipore woman claimed that 15 people in her neighbourhood, and two near her home, had been found positive for COVID-19. The children of the group’s members go to a local preschool.

In one message viewed by The Indian Express, the woman urged the members not to send out their family to purchase groceries. She claimed that her information was reliable. When one person asked if the information was accurate, the woman insisted that people could trust her.

The school administration told police that no staff member was involved in the matter. Further inquiry led police to the WhatsApp group. Police said after being asked to provide evidence to back her claims, the woman said she had “unknowingly made a mistake”.

She was charged under Section 505(1)(b) of the IPC —which punishes actions that intend to cause, or which are likely to cause, fear or alarm in the public — and produced in court.

The investigating officers at New Alipore police station were not available for comment.

“We request people not to spread rumours,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Murlidhar Sharma told The Indian Express.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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