Several Indian publications published misleading news of eight Pakistani army officials infected with coronavirus quoted a fake Twitter account of Pakistan’s health ministry.
Hindustan Times- a prominent Indian news outlet published fake news on eight Pakistani military personnel infected with the novel coronavirus. The false news was tweeted on the sham account of Pakistan’s ministry of health services that the Indian news outlet assumed true. They did not bother to check the facts and ended up with a faux pass.
This story about Pakistan reported by Indian news agency ANI is FALSE.
— Uzair Rizvi (@RizviUzair) March 13, 2020
“Routine check-up in GHQ Rawalpindi by #COVID19 investigation team have (sic) found that 3 Lt.colonel, 2 Colonel, 2 Brigadier, 1 Maj general has been tested positive for #coronavirus. #CoronavirusPandemic,” a tweet on the fake account read.
Indian publication Hindustan Times quoted the tweet in a news article with a lurid headline. Meanwhile, the health authorities in Pakistan confirmed the account is fake.
Sajid Shah, the press relations officer of the Ministry of Health said the account is fake and is reported to the authorities.
It is noted that the account was created in September 2019 and is regularly posting tweets misleading information regarding the efforts of the government to control coronavirus in the country.
In one of its tweet, it said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is considering to impose “temporary restrictions on trade through #CPEC”.
In another tweet, it claimed PM’s aide Dr. Zafar Mirza has constituted a special task force to do regular checkups of government officials and army professionals to ensure they are not affected by a coronavirus.
— Anas Mallick (@AnasMallick) March 13, 2020
Surprisingly, neither the ISPR nor the health ministry has repudiated the fake news published in Hindustan Times.
The toll of coronavirus in Pakistan has surged to 28 cases after several new cases were reported from the Taftan border area. The provincial and federal governments are taking every possible step to control the spread of coronavirus in the country.
But according to reports, the fake account has been suspended but several Indian publications have not taken down the news.