Rajdeep Sardesai apologises after announcing Pranab Mukherjee's premature demise; Twitter laments death of journalism
Photo via Wikimedia/PTI

Dismissing "speculation" and "fake news" regarding the health of Pranab Mukherjee, his son Abhijit Mukherjee on Thursday said that the former President is still alive and "haemodynamically" stable.

He alleged that fake news is being circulated by reputed journalists on social media regarding his father's death.

"My Father Shri Pranab Mukherjee is still alive & haemodynamically stable! Speculations & fake news being circulated by reputed Journalists on social media clearly reflects that Media in India has become a factory of Fake News," Abhijit Mukherjee tweeted.

This comes after India Today journalist Rajdeep Sardesai had tweeted that Mukherjee had passed away.

He apologised in a subsequent tweet. “My deep deep apologies for falling for fake news being circulated on Pranab Mukherjee passing away. I am deeply distraught for falling for this fake news.. it was unprofessional of me to not reconfirm it before tweeting. Apologies to all.. and prayers with the family..” wrote Rajdeep.

However, the damage was already done and netizens slammed him for peddling fake news.

Some Twitter users also pointed out that the gaffe reminded them of a scene from the American TV series ‘The Newsroom’.

The former President's daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee also refuted the rumours about his father.

"Rumours about my father is false. Request, esp'ly to media, NOT to call me as I need to keep my phone free for any updates from the hospital," Sharmistha tweeted.

Meanwhile, Army Research & Referral Hospital also clarified that the condition of former President Pranab Mukherjee remains unchanged this morning. "He is deeply comatose with stable vital parameters and continues to be on ventilatory support," the hospital said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Army Hospital, where the former President has been admitted stated that his health condition continued to remain critical after undergoing emergency surgery for a brain clot and was on a ventilator currently. It said that he is hemodynamically stable.

On August 10, Mukherjee underwent life-saving emergency surgery for brain clot on August 10 has not shown any improvement and his health status had worsened.

Taking to Twitter, the 84-year-old said on Monday that he had also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

"On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for COVID-19 today. I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19," Mukherjee tweeted.

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