Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on Monday asked employees to refrain from spreading any rumours regarding the novel disease. The total number of positive cases in India has now reached 114, as per the figures reported by the Union Health Ministry.
"A rumour has been circulating in the Department that a room partner of one Vikas Meena, an ASO posted in AIS Division was infected with the Coronavirus. Consequently, it might have spread the virus further. This is informed that the said room partner of Vikash Meena went to RML hospital for a checkup where it was found that he's diagnosed with typhoid," read an official statement.
"Further, it has been informed that Vikas Meena himself is hale and hearty with no health problem," it added.
The ministry also stressed the importance of taking precautions at this point in time. It stated that spreading of false rumours or misinformation could prove to be detrimental and create unnecessary panic among the employees.
"All the officers and staff in the Department are requested that while taking all precautions to contain the spread of Coronavirus, they should refrain from spreading any rumour about the virus," the ministry stated.
Leading the fight against rumors has been the Press Information Bureau's special fact-checking Twitter handle — PIB Fact Check. The Twitter handle has been constantly posting counters on misinformation and busting myths around the novel Coronavirus.
On Monday, PIB Fact Check countered a piece of fake news which said that Coronavirus can be treated by gargling with warm water mixed with salt and vinegar. The fake viral message had claimed that before reaching the lungs of humans, the Coronavirus remains in the throat for four days, leading to cough and throat pain in an affected person.
#Coronavirus CANNOT be treated by gargling with warm water mixed with salt and vinegar.— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 16, 2020
This is #fakenews circulating on social media and WhatsApp.
For authentic information on #Coronavirusoutbreak, follow @PIB_India and @MoHFW_INDIA #PIBFactCheck #IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/gKUGDBqR9Q