Health Ministry sets up email to 'cross-check' COVID-19 news before publishing
Photo by Bhushan Koyande

The Health Ministry on Wednesday has set up an email address to help fight the misinformation which is being spread amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The email address is technicalquery.covid19@gov.in.

"The Supreme Court has said that misinformation needs to be checked. For that, we've created email id technicalquery.covid19@gov.in through which a joint secretary-rank officer of Health Ministry and specialized doctors of AIIMS will provide technical support," said Lav Aggarwal, Health Ministry.

Earlier, the Centre had sought directions from the Supreme Court for the media houses not to publish, print or telecast anything without first confirming it from the concerned authorities, keeping in view the sensitivity of the news regarding COVID-19 in the country.

The Central government had filed its status report with respect to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a lawyer, Alakh Alok Srivastava, seeking a direction to provide food, medicines, shelter and other basic necessities to migrant labourers and workers amid the national lockdown.

The Centre stated in its report that it wanted media houses not to publish the news of COVID-19, without asking the Central government authorities, who are assigned to talk to media houses, keeping in view the welfare and benefit of migration labourers and other people due to the pandemic.

"We expect the media (print, electronic or social) to maintain a strong sense of social responsibility and ensure that unverified news -capable of causing panic--is not disseminated," the report stated.

The report added, "We do not intend to interfere with the free discussion about the pandemic but direct the media to refer and publish the official version about the developments." The Supreme Court is yet to take a call and pass any order on the status report filed by the Centre.

(With ANI inputs)

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