April 30, 2020
All is well that ends well, but surely not the way this pandemic is going to end.
Because, this pandemic has already left behind a series of misinformation into a new avatar called #Infodemic.
The Covid-19 outbreak seems to come out with more time for people to wonder about the might of false information on virus than fight the virus. This crisis period has been more worrying for the false information being spread on the virus than searching truth about the virus.
The pandemic appears to be a whole package of branding fake news and rumors. It has instigated people to come out on the virtual streets of social media and blame the health workers, sometimes the state police and most of the time the victim of the virus itself for being the receptor of the disease either to bear it or to drive it away.
The recent period has been an invention of the new dynamics into false information starting from blaming the reason of science and welcoming the nonsensical superstitious belief. It has been a peak time for the facilitation of social media messages, where everyone becomes a media manager or a virtual doctor to be particular over social media platforms.
These doctors do not carry stethoscope, wear mask or gloves or other PPE kits to fight the novel coronavirus; despite these they are called #CoronaWarriors for staying at home and complying to social distance norms. This kind of distancing can reach faster to mind than the physical body not through medicines but through messages. The search for full proved medicines for prevention or cure has been replaced by fake proved messages.
The spread of false information has always been there before Covid-19 could add fuel to its growth. Even time can’t explain in days to come whether it was the victory over pandemic or loss to infodemic.
It will be difficult for time to test whether it was an attack of pandemic over the people or people’s attack on pandemic.
Nevertheless, it is only time that can explain whether the effect of pandemic or infodemic will linger the most.
People may resilient all the effects of virus which is physical in nature, but to put the back-gear of the spread of fake messages, which has non-physical effect, it is up to the people again.
FAKE: Congress leader Udit Raj had tweeted a screenshot of a tweet on Sunday, which claimed that the Union government granted the tender for coronavirus testing kits to a Gujarat-based company at the price of Rs 4500 per kit when the same was being offered to it by 17 other companies at the price of Rs 500
FACT: “This is Fake News. Price range approved by ICMR is Rs 740-1150 for RT-PCR and ₹528-795 for Rapid Test. No test has been procured at Rs 4500. Any Indian company wanting to supply at lower rates is welcome to contact ICMR or Ms Anu Nagar, JS Health Research (011-23736222),” ICMR tweeted.
#CheckTheFake is a movement against #Infodemic in this crisis, initiated by Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust #ARMT (www.armt.in) in collaboration with The Assam Tribune and Northeast Now (www.nenow.in) to create awareness on #fakenews on #Coronavirus and improve media literacy through #Cartoons. ARMT Research