Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital seeks details of WhatsApp group admins to deal with fake news on Covid-19
The staff of the Vardhman Mahavir Medical College attached to the Safdarjang Hospital will also have to furnish the details, according to a circular dated April 3, which will be forwarded to the police.Updated: Apr 04, 2020, 10:05 IST
Authorities in Delhi’s Safdarjang Hospital have asked administrators of all WhatsApp groups in the institute for their details as a measure to stop the spread of fake news about Covid-19, the coronavirus disease, on social media.
The staff of the Vardhman Mahavir Medical College attached to the Safdarjang Hospital will also have to furnish the details, according to a circular dated April 3, which will be forwarded to the police.
“This is required to prevent spreading of any fake news, rumor, or any other adverse comments/statements on social media and in the institution by any hospital/college staff, Therefore you are requested to submit names, mobiles numbers, email of all admin of WhatsApp groups pertaining to hospital staff in the office,” Dr Prem Kumar, additional superintendent, said in the circular.
Junior doctors say the authorities took the call in the wake of rumours over pay cuts and staff members testing Covid-19 positive doing the rounds on WhatsApp.
“This was done to quell fake news. There have been rumours about hospital doctors and staff testing positive, which creates panic. Also, there was another incident where a fake circular was doing the rounds about salary deduction for Covid-19,” Dr Manish Kumar, president of the resident doctors’ association, said.
“We had written to the authorities in response to that and were told that the order is fake,” added.
Several people have been arrested across the country for sharing Covid-19 rumours on WhatsApp groups.
According to a report, two doctors in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad were booked in March for spreading false news about a Covid-19 patient through their WhatsApp group.
India has reported 2322 Covid-19 cases, including 162 people who have been discharged and 62 deaths, till Friday evening.