A viral image stating that the World Health Organization and the Indian Government are cautioning citizens to not use Chinese products during Holi due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak in the country is false. The image has the Indian seal along with the message in Hindi along with attributing the message to the WHO. Few English words have been interspersed in the message too.
The Hindi message has multiple grammatical as well as spelling errors. The message translates to: Important announcement! Holi, which is going to be celebrated in a few days, is one of India's biggest festivals. In our country, most of the colours ( gulal) and other products come from China. Whatever you purchase thinking it is inexpensive and attractive is actually made from polymer and plastic. These plastic products are obtained from Hunei in China where the Coronavirus is rampantly spreading. We appeal that nobody should use products coming from China. (Translated from भारत के त्यौहारों में बड़ा त्यौहार होली जो की कुछ दिनों में आने वाली है हमारे देश भारत में जितनो भी रंग गुलाल एवं मास्क वीक और भी बहुत सारी सामाना चीन से आती है | आप जिसे सस्ता और बाकर्सित सोच कर खरीदते है उसमे पॉलीमर की कोसी का उपयोग होता है | आप को जानाकारी दे की इसमे कोसी चीन के शहर Hunei से बना कर आती है जहाँ कोरोना वायरस का कहर शुरू हुआ | आप सभी से अपील है की चीन से आने वाली सामान का प्रयोग ना करें ।)
BOOM received this image on its Whatsapp helpline with the request to verify its veracity.
This post has been viral with various different captions on social media.
BOOM found that none of the Indian ministries nor the WHO has issued any advisory banning the purchase of Chinese products.
Furthermore, the advisory mentions Hunei district which is actually a rural district in Taiwan. Hubei district in China is the epicentre of the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Along with this, all the earlier advisories on Coronavirus mention one of the ministries of the Union Government while this advisory highlights the WHO. BOOM could not find any press releases or newspaper articles reporting any such development.
The 'advisory' also has many spelling and grammatical errors.
Holi is an Indian festival celebrated with colours and water. Many people use organic colours as well as colours made with the help of chemicals, and water balloons, water toys called pichkaris made from plastic are also normally manufactured in China.
This advisory is another addition to the long list of fake news that surround the recent outbreak of the novel strain of the Coronavirus which has so far claimed over 2,700 lives across the world. Scientists are still studying the virus and have not yet found the source of the virus. The WHO has called the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern as over 30 countries apart from China have been infected by the virus. The virus was earlier claimed to have originated in a seafood market in China but this theory is currently being disputed.
Coronavirus is predicted to stay on surfaces for 9 days but there is no research study validating this claim.
BOOM has debunked several fake news around the Coronavirus ranging from ways to prevent and cure the virus, misleading narratives around the President and Prime Minister, misinformation around residents and police brutality.
Read the thread here.
#Thread🚨: Since the outbreak of #CoronaVirus, we have debunked #FakeNews around the novel Coronavirus. A WhatsApp forward is viral falsely claiming @MoHFW_INDIA has issued an emergency notification. (1/n) #CoronaVirusFacts @WHO https://t.co/0lbBu7FIfO— BOOM FactCheck (@boomlive_in) January 30, 2020
Updated On: 2020-03-13T10:06:16+05:30
Claim : Govt, WHO issued advisory to not purchase Chinese colours during Holi
Claimed By : Whatsapp Users
Fact Check : False