Malayalam superstar Mohanlal seems to have been bitten by the misinformation bug that is going viral in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus. The internet rumour mill has been churning out numerous fake news and unverified medical claims about the new disease. The social media was abuzz with a lot of false information over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to clap and clang utensils for five minutes at 5 PM on Sunday as part of the 14-long hour Janata Curfew.
The drill was to show solidarity and appreciate the medical professionals and other people, who have been leading the fight against containing the spill of the COVID-19. The “WhatsApp University”, however, went berserk trying to make a miraculous sense of the PM’s request.
The social media and WhatsApp groups were flooded with messages that the sound created from clapping and banging utensils in large number would create some sort of cosmic energy that would wipe out the novel coronavirus from the face of the earth. Many surprisingly believed it, including Mohanlal.
“Clapping together is a big process. The sound produced is like a mantram (chant) and there is a chance of many bacteria and virus getting destroyed. Let it all get destroyed. I request everybody to cooperate,” Mohanlal said during a telephonic interview with Manorama News.
— Mohanlal (@Mohanlal) March 19, 2020
Surprisingly, Mohanlal has been leading an awareness campaign about COVID-19. He has used various avenues like social media and television to reach out to the people with preventive measures to stop the virus.
“We will not engage in spreading fake news and we will not panic,” Mohanlal had said earlier in an awareness video.
The misinformation went viral drawing the attention of the Press Information Bureau. “NO ! The vibration generated by clapping together will NOT destroy #Coronavirus infection,” PIB tweeted in an effort to debunk the claim.
NO ! The vibration generated by clapping together will NOT destroy #Coronavirus infection#PIBFactCheck: The #JantaCurfew clapping initiative at 5pm is to express gratitude towards the Emergency staff working selflessly to counter #coronavirusinindia #Covid19India pic.twitter.com/WHfK4guxys
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 22, 2020
It is also worth noting that earlier Twitter India also took down a video from Superstar Rajinikanth on COVID-19 citing violation of the rules. Some of the information shared by the Superstar was perceived to be unverified, leading to the removal of the video on the micro-blogging website.
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