A viral WhatsApp message is sending the smartphone owning population of Bengaluru into a tizzy. The message being shared in the form of a WhatsApp status, as well as forwards and in the form of a graphic, claims that everyone should stay indoors at night, as the government is spraying medicine over the city to ‘kill the COVID-19’.
The message in full, says, “Hello, Kindly request you not to come out of your house after 10 pm tonight till tomorrow 5 am. As BBMP will be spraying medicine in the air in order to kill the COVID-19!! Share this information to all your friends, relatives and family members who are residing in Bangalore. Thank you! From BBMP.”
The above message is false. The BBMP has not put out any such notice to the press. The Karnataka Health department has also not mentioned any such unprecedented measures, like spraying the city with any medicine to prevent COVID-19, in either of the two press briefings that are being held every day regarding the government’s measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Besides, there is currently no medicine that has been proven to prevent or cure the infectious novel coronavirus.
BBMP Commissioner Anil Kumar also refuted the forward. Speaking to Media, the Commissioner said, “I have seen this forward, and it is fake news. Some Bengalureans are sending this message to each other and creating panic.”
He also said that the government advice has been to stay indoors. “The government has told everyone to stay inside and stay safe. It is not advisable to go outside. Especially Bengaluru’s IT sector workers, we want all of them to stay indoors behind locked doors and not come outside and risk infecting the rest of the city. Everyone should work from home as far as possible,” he added.
The Karnataka Chief Minister announced on Wednesday that the state would continue to on lock down until March 31.