The Karnataka Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Services on Tuesday warned against sharing misinformation and/or non-factual data.
In an official statement, the state health department said anyone found spreading misinformation would face government action under Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act of 2005 and in Section 4(k) of the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act 2020.
These actions would be valid on all social media platforms as well as the media.
The state government said spreading misinformation or non-factual data would be considered an offense and the offender would be penalized.
Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act 2005 states that “Anyone who gives or broadcasts a false alarm or warning of a disaster, its severity or extent, causing panic, shall on conviction be liable to ‘Imprisonment of up to one year or a fine.- Anyone who gives or broadcasts a false alarm or warning about a disaster, its severity or magnitude, causing panic, will, upon conviction, be punishable by imprisonment for up to one year or a fine.”
The Department of Health also mentioned: “It has come to the attention of the government that few doctors, while communicating to the public on various media platforms, give incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information on #COVID19. »
The state cited its decision to penalize such actions to the fact that some doctors or health care workers gave patients incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information.
Such actions have the potential to create frenzy among citizens and state action aims to prevent this.
The Office of the Health and Family Services Commissioner said some doctors allegedly gave incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information about Covid-19. “Such misinformation confuses the general public about the prevailing Covid scenario in the state and encourages them to deviate from well-defined guidelines issued by health and tax authorities,” the statement said.
According to health officials, a few doctors recently appeared on some news channels and allegedly made statements contrary to the facts and may have triggered panic among people about COVID-19.
In the third wave of coronavirus that has hit the country, Karnataka remains the second largest contributor, after Maharashtra.
The state on Monday recorded 27,156 new Covid-19 cases, 7,827 recoveries and 14 Covid-19-related deaths.
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