At a time doctors are on the frontline battling the coronavirus outbreak, they too are falling victim to fake news on social media.
Facebook user “Chandrima Bhowmik” posted two photographs of a doctor – one in protective gear and the other a close-up shot. In the post, she claimed that the doctor is Jogiraj Ray who has contracted Covid-19. The Facebook user also sympathised with him.
The caption of the post in Bengali translates to, “Dr. Jogiraj .. medical officer of Beleghata ID Hospital .. corona positive .. While you are dancing and having fun, these doctors are dying for you. This is what you want.” The post was later deleted.
The post has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp too.
India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found the post to be false. The doctor’s wife clarified in a Facebook post that while Dr Ray is indeed on Covid-19 duty at Beleghata ID hospital, he has not been infected. She reported the fake post to the cyber cell of Kolkata Police, who arrested Chandrima for spreading the rumour.
On March 27, in her Facebook post, Sanchita Basu Ray, the doctor’s wife, criticised Chandrima for spreading the rumour. Her write-up in Bengali translates to, “My husband is perfectly fine. He is working tirelessly at Beleghata ID hospital day and night trying to improve the condition of patients. He is fighting on the frontline against coronavirus so that everyone can be safe and without worries. Kindly ignore such posts and report them to authorities. I have reported this matter to cyber security. Kindly do not spread rumours.”
Here is the archived version of the post.
Before Sanchita posted the clarification on Facebook, on March 26, Facebook user “Mrinmoy Das” had warned Chandrima that she may have to face police action as the information about Dr Ray was fake. His post in Bengali translates to, “Now that you are in the news, you may have to face a police case. Look into the matter.”
After Sanchita reported against Chandrima to the police, the latter was arrested for spreading rumour on social media. We got in touch with the cyber cell of Kolkata Police who confirmed the arrest.
ANI also reported that Chandrima has been booked for posting fake news.
West Bengal: A 29-year-old woman has been booked & arrested for allegedly spreading misinformation on social media about a doctor being infected with #COVID19 in Beleghata area of Kolkata.ANI (@ANI) March 28, 2020
Therefore, it can be said that the Facebook post regarding a doctor at Beleghata ID hospital in Kolkata contracting Covid-19 is false.
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