A viral message claiming that the Indian government is planning to ease the lockdown restrictions in five phases, is not actually by the Indian government. The detailed easing of restrictions in phases and roadmap is from Ireland.
The message is viral across the country. BOOM accessed these messages from Mumbai as well as other cities.
The Regional Outreach Bureau, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's arm in Chandigarh debunked the claim on Tuesday in a tweet stating that this notification is false.
#FakeNewsAlert— ROB Chandigarh (@ROBChandigarh) May 12, 2020
Claim: A message is being circulated👇 claiming 5-phase roadmap by Government to ease #COVID19 restrictions based on a 3-week review process.
#FactCheck: There is no such announcement/decision by the Government. The message is #FAKE & Baseless.#StayInformed pic.twitter.com/BVLaMQIX4V
BOOM also reached out to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation who denied issuing any such advisory.
The message that BOOM received includes an additional paragraph with the circulating message. It discusses the division of Mumbai into seven zones each of which will be managed by an IAS officer.
The message then goes ahead to mention that the government has a roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions in 5 phases through a three week review process and would be on the dates of May 18, June 8, June 29, July 20, and August 10.
The message then details every phase and the easing of relaxations for various activities and reopening of establishments.
India has been under a lockdown since March 25. The government is going to issue fresh orders for lockdown 4.0 before May 18.
The first paragraph of the viral message talks about Mumbai being divided into seven zones which would be administered by several IAS officers. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has divided the city into the said number of zones.
For the rest of the message about the various phases, BOOM reached out to officials at the BMC who denied that the BMC has issued any such advisory. "BMC follows all the directives by the Central Government. No such directive has been issued by the Centre. We have received many requests about the veracity of this message and we can only say that there have been no such advisories by the Government. This message is not true."
Even the Regional Outreach Bureau, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's arm in Chandigarh refuted this claim.
After conducting a relevant keyword search, BOOM found that the phase-wise easing of restrictions are actually from Ireland.
Ireland has designed a five phase roadmap to get the country back on track. The text in the message also matches with the text used on Ireland's official website. Terminologies such as mountain walks in Mumbai were picked up from the Irish list.
Authorities in Ireland have also categorically stated that these phases will only be applied if the medical advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team permits the government to do so.
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