Expressing serious concern over the increasing fatalities due to Covid in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday urged youngsters to think 10 times before posting or forwarding anything on social media as any irresponsible action could impact their future.
In his #AskCaptain Facebook Live session, the Chief Minister said, “What you post on social media is your responsibility….You can’t mislead people.” Pointing out that once a case is registered their entire future could be adversely affected, he urged youth to act responsibly. Captain Amarinder pointed out that so far 121 social media accounts/links had been blocked while 292 more had been identified by the Punjab Police for indulging in false propaganda on organ harvesting and testing for Covid.
“We will not let anyone disturb Punjab’s peaceful atmosphere with such vicious propaganda,” he added.
Attempts to mislead the people through fake news and posts are totally intolerable and unacceptable, said Captain Amarinder, citing social media campaigns being driven by miscreants and even some Opposition MLAs who were asking people not to wear masks.
Responding to the concern expressed by an Amritsar resident about the media continuing to name Covid positive patients despite the government decision on not identifying them, the Chief Minister said strict instructions were in place to maintain the confidentiality of the identity of Covid patients and the implementation of these will be ensured. He also appealed to the people to refrain from discriminating against any patient of Covid, whether undergoing treatment or recovered. This is a disease like many others, and attaching any social stigma to it is completely unjustified, he said.
To a question about media reports suggesting that rumours around Covid19 have impacted the Covid recovery in Punjab, the Chief Minister said Covid tests have indeed gone down because of the vicious misleading propaganda on social media, which was causing people not to get treated in time.