A viral graphic claiming Maharashtra has announced a 15 day strict state wide lockdown starting March 1 is fake. The graphic which carries the logo of Marathi news channel TV9 aims to show that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced the statewide lockdown owing to the increasing COVID-19 cases.
The graphic has text in Marathi, follows the style and format of the Marathi news channel TV9 and also has a photo of Thackeray. The image reads, " Maharashtra will enforce a strict 15-day lockdown across the state from March 1, 2021"
(Original text: १मार्च २०२१ पासुन संपुर्ण राज्यात १५ दिवसांचा कडक लॉकडाऊन)
TV9 Marathi issued a clarification calling the graphic fake and adding that they never aired such a broadcast. In the video, two TV9 anchors clarified that neither did Thackeray announce any lockdown from March 1, nor did they air it.
Furthermore, the font used in the graphic is different from what the channel uses on its graphics. Another difference between the graphic and the channel's actual coverage of Thackeray's address is that the CM was in a blue kurta yesterday.
Checking through all of TV9's social media handles, BOOM also could not find the ticker "The number of corona patients is increasing in the country" in any of their February 21 coverage. (Original text: देशातील कोरोना रूग्णांचा आकडा वाढतोय)
WHAT DID CM UDDHAV THACKERAY ANNOUNCE?
Thackeray addressed the state through an online address on February 21, emphasising the importance of following precautions to curb the spread of COVID-19 urging people to wear masks and follow social distancing. He further announced a week-long lockdown in the cities of Vidarbha, given the high spike in reported cases from the area. He also said that all religious and social gatherings, across the state have been paused.
While the state has not announced a total lockdown, Thackeray said that a call for the same would be taken in the coming days. Speaking in the online address, Thackeray said, "Will there be a lockdown? I leave the answer to the citizens. We will observe the situation for the next eight days"
You can hear his full address here :
In the past 24 hours, Maharashtra reported 6,921 cases. As the cases were under control across the months of November, December, and January and witnessed a sudden surge, Maharashtra is said to be taking precautionary measures to curb the rise. The increase of cases in the Vidarbha belt have been attributed to new variants of SARS-CoV-2 that have emerged in the state. These new variants are known to transmit the virus faster than the ongoing strain but their effects on infectivity and severity still need to be studied.
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