March 12, 2020 10:20:46 pm
PUNE Divisional Commissioner Dr Deepak Mhaisekar said on Thursday that strict action will be taken against those revealing names or disclosing details that would identify coronavirus patients, through the media as well as social media platforms.
The Indian Express had reported that police officials in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have been keeping a close watch on social media platforms and messenger services to check the spread of rumours about the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is very important that all of us take the utmost precautions in the current scenario, and factually-correct information is available to everyone. But if, while doing this, names of patients are revealed on media or social media platforms, the family members and relatives of the patients may face grave difficulties. The patients are not criminals, rather, they are sufferers of the virus and deserve treatment with a human touch. We have been appealing to citizens to make sure that no names of the patients are made public. If it happens, stringent action will be taken against those responsible,” Mhaisekar said.
“The Cyber Cell of the police is keeping a close watch on people spreading rumours or misinformation. People must practice restraint while posting anything on social media platforms or messengers,” he added.
Police sources said that since the time the outbreak was reported in China, the volume of posts and messages about the spread of the virus and many aspects related to it has grown.
On Wednesday, a Pune-based lawyer had complained to the Pune Divisional Commissioner and police authorities that because the name of a coronavirus patient was published by a section of the media, the patient’s family had been facing a social boycott. The lawyer has demanded action against a media outlet and the officials responsible for releasing the name of the patient.
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