The Government of India announced a complete lockdown for 21 days on March 24 in light of the growing coronavirus pandemic in the country as well as the world. There has been a rumour flying around on various social media portals that the lockdown has been extended till April 30 to contain the spread of coronavirus in India.
The message containing the rumour claims that the lockdown, which is supposed to come to an end on April 14, has been extended till April 30. This message also claims that the announcement was done by the Mumbai High Court about the state of Maharashtra. Here is the forwarded message:
The news about the interim orders by the Mumbai High Court was covered by another news source as well, whose article also circulated under the impression that it talks about the extension of the lockdown. The article talks about how the Mumbai High Court has extended the date of the interim orders. This has been misinterpreted as an extension of India's and Maharashtra's lockdown.
The news that India's lockdown has been extended to a 51-day lockdown is fake. There has been a misinterpretation of an article by Maharashtra Today. The newspaper's article talked about how the interim orders, which will be operating until Thursday, April 2 at the Mumbai High Court, has been extended till April 30. The link given in the message takes one to the newspaper's site, where they have added the caution that the rumours are fake and misinterpreted.
The fake rumours that India's, as well as Maharashtra's, lockdown has been extended to April 30 started spreading in the form of Whatsapp forwards. ANI posted on its Twitter account that the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba completely denied the rumours of extension. He said that he is surprised to see such reports flying around, as there are no such plans of extending it and making it a 51-day lockdown. Prasar Bharti also tweeted and clarified that there is no such extension of the lockdown.
The original article spoke about how the Bombay High Court directed on March 24 that all the demolition or eviction and dispossession orders that were passed earlier will be held in abeyance until April 30. This means that there will be a temporary halt in all the cases and order when it comes to the above-mentioned orders. HC Chief Justice B P Dharmadhikari along with Justices A A Sayed, S S Shinde and K K Tated had passed these orders.
Since the time the Whatsapp forwards about the extension of lockdown spread like wildfire, people have been searching online about the news. Around midnight at 12.30 am, on March 28, the search reached its peak. The next rise in the searches came around midnight on March 29. A list of what was searched by the people is also given below.
Disclaimer: We advise people to continue with self-quarantine at their respective homes. It is important to maintain social distancing to break the chain of coronavirus. This means staying at home and only stepping out in case of extreme emergencies and unavoidable circumstances.