In an embarrassing incident, one of Pakistan's premium news media outlets, Dawn News television ran fake news, claiming British PM Boris Johnson to be dead. The world leader, infected with COVID-19, a day ago was moved to the intensive care unit.
Attributing the report to 'BBC world service', Pakistan's news channel broke the story. However, only to released that the 'breaking news' was picked up from a sham BBC news media Twitter account. The news flash in Urdu read, "UK PM Boris passed away."
Dawn News television runs false news of British PM's death, attributes it to BBC World Service. pic.twitter.com/NYXCqMbnoo— Naila Inayat नायला इनायत (@nailainayat) April 7, 2020
The fake BBC twitter handle Dawn News picked its breaking news from: pic.twitter.com/clYpVknoU2— Naila Inayat नायला इनायत (@nailainayat) April 7, 2020
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms worsened Monday, just a day after he was admitted for what were said to be routine tests. 10 days after he was diagnosed, the British PM was admitted to the hospital on late Sunday. “Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital,” his office said in a statement.
Days prior to the blunder by a Pakistan channel, a fake news report had emerged on March 28 about Pakistan's premier Imran Khan. Days after Boris Johnson tested positive, a London-based news media outlet claimed that Imran Khan has been infected by Coronavirus.
Subsequently, PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan denied the claim and asked the news organisation to correct the report. The Pakistani politician said, "News regarding PM Imran Khan tested positive for COVID-19 is NOT true. Please refrain from spreading fake news." Two doctors have died after contracting the new virus in Pakistan, which has recorded 4,004 cases and 54 deaths. Many of the cases have been traced to pilgrims returning from neighboring Iran. Pakistani authorities have imposed a countrywide lockdown until April 14.