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Saturday, June 06, 2020

Delhi confidential: Facts & Faux Pas

In a video clip that has gone viral, the Tripura CM is seen telling a reporter that he had no choice but to seal the borders since neighbouring areas of Assam's Karimganj district had 16 confirmed coronavirus cases and Manipur had 19.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: April 4, 2020 6:38:55 am
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb on Thursday explained why the state government had sealed its borders with neighbouring ‘states’. Only, he got much of the geography and statistics all wrong. In a video clip that has gone viral, Deb is seen telling a reporter that he had no choice but to seal the borders since neighbouring areas of Assam’s Karimganj district had 16 confirmed coronavirus cases and Manipur had 19. While Assam indeed has recorded 16 positive cases, Karimganj has recorded only one. Besides, as against Deb’s count, Manipur has reported two cases so far. More: Tripura does not share a boundary with Manipur. Deb’s statement prompted Manipur Congress spokesperson Ningombam Meitei to tweet and ask the Tripura CM to check his facts before making statements.

Too Eager

At around 4.30 pm, the PIB Fact Check handle on Twitter asked people not to fall for “rumours/unscientific reasoning” circulating on the Prime Minister’s appeal to light candles or diyas at 9 pm on April 5. This, however, could very well apply to a government departments itself, after MyGov earlier in the day sent out a video of a senior doctor claiming that the request was based on “Yoga Vashishta”, which apparently means that if “people think collectively that coronavirus should not form on our ACE 2 receptors, then collective consciousness will make sure that this happens”. Senior MyGov officials said officials in charge of the handle posted the doctor’s message taken in by his credentials—a former president of the Indian Medical Association and a Padma Shri awardee in 2010. The post was soon deleted, but by then the damage was done, the video having been saved, shared, and talked about, much to the government department’s embarrassment.

LAN Down

A hearing in the Supreme Court via video-conferencing was repeatedly disrupted on Friday, apparently due to problems with the Local Area Network (LAN). The bench finally had to hear some of the lawyers through a WhatsApp video call. The apex court is learnt to have conveyed its disillusionment with senior officials of MTNL.

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