The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday characterised the COVID-19 outbreak as a "pandemic" and expressed deep concern over its "alarming levels" of "spread, severity, as well as inaction".
The Karnataka government on Wednesday invoked relevant sections of The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. Soon after the government's move, a rumour was doing the rounds on the mainstream media that "Karnataka Declares Coronavirus as State Epidemic".
Our community members reached out to us asking if this information is true.
Karnataka Has Declared Coronavirus as State Epidemic
Times Now, which had earlier reported about the claim, issued a clarification later.
"It was mistakenly reported on Times Now that the Karnataka government had imposed blanket emergency measures in the state. This is not quite the right picture. It's not a blanket ban. The state government is empowered to impose necessary measures, in case they feel that the situation demands so. The misinterpretation is regretted," the channel said.
Several Other news agencies have also debunked this case of misreporting.
The Real Scenario
According to an India Today report, officials in the Karnataka government have clarified that invoking these sections does not mean in any way or form that Covid-19 has been declared a state epidemic'. Officials further added that sections of the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act have been invoked merely as a precautionary measure to ensure that the infection does not infect a large population of the state.
The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations 2020 has put in place necessary guidelines, powers of concerned officials and even penalties for those who violate the temporary provisions, that will be valid for one year.
Therefore, Coronavirus outbreak has not been declared as a state epidemic yet. Care should be taken to refrain from spreading panic amongst the situation.
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Also Read: WHO Declares Coronavirus A Global Pandemic; Confirmed Cases Cross 123,800 Globally