A WhatsApp forward doing the rounds on the time table for essential commodities has left people confused. The forward reads dates and timings for the distribution of the following: Milk from 6 am to 7 am. Newspapers up to 7 am. Vegetable shops from Monday 8 am to 11 am only on alternate days (24/26/28 and 30 March). By Order of Mumbai police.
The rumour has been so believable that several shops that opened today downed the shutters in case they would be caught by the cops. However, Mumbai police tweeted later in the day that the said forward was a fake, and no such directive had been issued.
Earlier in the day, The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has written to the Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories asking them to ensure operational continuity of print and electronic media in vide of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The I&B Ministry’s request comes at a time when people have been sharing fake news from unreliable sources using messaging tools like WhatsApp. As a result of these messages, there has risen a lot of confusion and pandemonium, which is something neither the state nor central government requires during the coronavirus outbreak.