New Delhi: Amid rising cases of coronavirus in India, the Centre on Monday stressed that spreading misinformation and panic should be avoided, adding that no community or area should be blamed for the spread of COVID-19. Also Read - Kangana Ranaut Defends Sister Rangoli Chandel And Babita Phogat For Commenting on Tablighi Jamaat, Says 'Ban Twitter'
Addressing a press conference, Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said, “We should avoid spreading misinformation and panic. No community or area should be labelled for COVID-19 spread.” Also Read - 'Twitter Lynch Mobs Aren't Really Helpful': Wikipedia Co-Founder Jimmy Wales Pulls Down 'Fake' Articles on Tablighi Jamaat
He further said that in particular, healthcare and sanitary workers, or police shouldn’t be targeted as they were helping people. Also Read - Tablighi Jamaat Chief Writes to Delhi Police, Says 'Willing to Cooperate'
Notably, in the wake of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, which was held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin last month, there have been incidents of ‘discrimination’ and even physical violence against Muslims in some parts of the country. This is because the congregation took place at a time curbs due to coronavirus were just about coming into effect in the national capital.
The attendees, who numbered in thousands, later ended up infecting thousands of people they came in contact with, thus becoming the single-largest source of COVID-19 cases in the country.
There have also been incidents of attacks on frontline coronavirus workers; this has been attributed to ‘misinformation’ and ‘fake news’ on social media. It has also been said that those who are infected or could be infected, are not coming out due to stigma attached with being infected with a disease.
The Centre recently brought in an ordinance to punish those attacking healthcare workers and police personnel.
With a spike of 1,463 cases, India’s current COVID-19 tally stands at 28,380, which includes 6,362 patients who recovered and 886 fatalities.