Maha govt orders action against 2 journos for 'false' coronavirus report

A medical staffer holds the hand of a patient, in the ICU of the Bassini Hospital, in Cinisello Balsamo, near Milan, Italy, Tuesday, April 14, 2020 | Photo: AP/PTI
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has said action has been ordered against a reporter and an anchor of a TV news channel for allegedly running a "false" story that state minister Jitendra Awhad's daughter tested coronavirus positive at the time of return from Spain.

Deshmukh did not name the news channel concerned. In a series of tweets, Deshmukh said the code of conduct of not revealing the name of any coronavirus-infected patient was violated in the process.

There are rules in the law regarding not revealing the names of girls, he said, adding that what the channel did "deliberately and irresponsibly was quite serious". It is wrong to broadcast "false and terrorising" news at a time when an atmosphere of fear is prevailing in the country due to the spread of coronavirus, Deshmukh said.

"Hence, an order has been issued to take action against the reporter and anchor of the news as per rules," Deshmukh tweeted late Wednesday night.

A police official with whom Housing Minister Awhad interacted recently tested positive for coronavirus. Hence, as a precaution, the minister has quarantined himself. On Wednesday, Awhad said his test report has come out negative and he is fit and fine.

Meanwhile, at least 165 new coronavirus cases were found in Maharashtra on Thursday, taking the total number of such cases in the state to 3,081, a health official said. Out of the new cases, 107 were reported from Mumbai city and 19 from Pune.

Besides, 11 new cases were reported from Nagpur, 13 from Thane, four each from Pimpri-Chinchwad (Pune) and Malegaon (Nashik), two each from Navi Mumbai and Vasai-Virar (Palghar), and one each from Ahmednagar, Chandrapur, and Panvel (Raigad).


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