Amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, there has emerged an abundance of fake news -- be it mysterious 'cures' for the virus or doctored lockdown guidelines.
On Sunday afternoon, the Mumbai police took to Twitter sharing a set of guidelines that has been making the rounds recently, and clarified that they had not been issued by the authorities.
"These guidelines have not been issued by Mumbai Police. Please do not share or circulate this with incorrect credentials and always verify facts from official authorities," the police handle wrote.
The guidelines given in the fake document had included 22 points that were more in the manner of cautionary guidelines. The forward was also riddled with spelling and grammar inconsistencies, and claimed to be a "message from top cop of Mumbai". It was signed simply as "Police Dept.."
According to the forward, the fake guidelines had to be followed "at least for 3 months or till overall situation improves". It included some rather strange points, such as:
1. Don't take any secluded or short cuts roads to reach home, try and use maximum Main roads
2. Avoid crowded buses
3. While going for your daily walk try and go around 6.00 AM, in the evening maximum finish by 8.00 PM use Main roads avoid empty streets
4. If Children have to attend tuition classes let elders drop and pick up
5. Do not wear costly watches.
6. Do not wear costly chains, bangles, ear rings be careful with your hand bags.
7. Men refrain wearing high end watches, costly bracelets and chains.
8. Do not use much of your mobile phones in the public. Try to minimise mobile use in public.
Incidentally, the same fake message has been passed around on social media claiming that it was a message from the "top cop of #Bangalore".
This too had been debunked, and the Bengaluru City police have said that no such message has been released by them.
This is not the first fact check that Mumbai Police has been forced to conduct in recent times. Towards the end of May, the police handle had to call out a fake message that had claimed that Mumbai and Pune would be going under a 10 day military lockdown.
"If it reaches you, break the chain and do not forward," the police had urged at the time.