3 booked for naming coronavirus patient on social media

The police said the case was lodged on the statement of the station house officer (SHO) of Town police station following the directive of superintendent of police (SP) Awakash Kumar.
Begusarai police on Thursday lodged an FIR against three people for allegedly revealing the identity of a Covid-19 patient on social media platforms(HT File (Representative Image))
Begusarai police on Thursday lodged an FIR against three people for allegedly revealing the identity of a Covid-19 patient on social media platforms(HT File (Representative Image))
Published on Apr 03, 2020 07:18 AM IST
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Patna, Hindustan Times | By, Patna

The Begusarai police on Thursday lodged an FIR against three people for allegedly revealing the identity of a Covid-19 patient on social media platforms.

The police said the case was lodged on the statement of the station house officer (SHO) of Town police station following the directive of superintendent of police (SP) Awakash Kumar.

Police said the three were identified as Bhavesh Kumar Bhartiya, Subodh Kumar and Om Prakash Razak. The FIR has been lodged under Section188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that provides for a month’s imprisonment or 1,000 fine or both.

The union ministry of health had earlier issued a directive to maintain strict confidentiality on the identity confirmed and suspected cases. As revealing identity violates the right to privacy of the people, an FIR can be lodged against people violating the government order.

“The accused had revealed the identity of the patient in separate WhatsApp groups,” the Begusarai SP said.

Meanwhile, the district administration also sealed the Noorpur panchayat, with a population of 855, falling under Barauni block, after a youth tested positive. The youth had returned from Dubai via Goa on March 22 and was referred to Patna on Tuesday. The borders of the nearby villages were sealed and movement of the residents within the 3-km radius was banned. The decision to seal off the area came after two suspects died last week.

Begusarai district magistrate (DM) Arvind Kumar Verma said as many as 18 family members of the infected person had been put in quarantine at the Begusarai Sadar Hospital. The village was sealed with the support of social workers and surveillance teams have also been sent to identify the infected youth’s close contacts in the village, said the DM.

A health department official said 18 samples of the close contacts of the patient had been collected and sent for testing. The department has also started a survey in the village to detect patients, if any.

Meanwhile, reports from Siwan said the administration had sealed over 40 villages of Barharia, Darauli and Hasanpur blocks after five residents of the locality tested positive. Barricades have been erected on all entry points of the villages concerned. Police personnel have also been deployed there.

Reports of people testing positive and subsequent sealing of the affected villages have also poured in from Gopalganj, Lakhisarai, Munger, Gaya, Patna and Nalanda districts.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Avinash, a senior correspondent, reports on crime, railways, defence and social sector, with specialisation in police, home department and other investigation agencies.

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