ANI News UP - a handle of Asian News International (ANI) had Tweeted on April 6 that the residents of sector 5 in Harola, Noida, who came in contact with Tablighi Jamat members have been quarantined.
The wire agency had attributed the statement to Sankalp Sharma who is the DCP of Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.
Called Out For Fake News
In their tweet, ANI had linked the quarantine measures with Tablighi Jamaat. This claim was however debunked by DCP Noida's official twitter handle. The DCP clarified that those people who might have come in contact with the infected individuals were quarantined as per the normal procedure.
The DCP further added that there was no mention of Tablighi Jamat and accused ANI of misquoting and spreading fake news.
"@ANINewsUP people who had come in contact with the positive case were quarantined as per the laid procedure. There was no mention of Tablighi Jamat. You are misquoting and spreading fake news," the Noida DCP tweeted.
@ANINewsUP people who had come in contact with the positive case were quarantined as per laid procedure.— DCP_Noida (@DCP_Noida) April 7, 2020
There was no mention of Tabligh Jamat. You are misquoting and spreading fake news@noidapolice @Uppolicehttps://t.co/HwIM5Cr7K3
ANI Issues Correction
On April 8th ANI tweeted the correction to their erroneous tweet.
"Correction- Those in Sector 5 Harola, Noida, who came in contact with #COVID19 positive case* have been quarantined: Sankalp Sharma, Gautam Budh Nagar (DCP)," the updated tweet by ANI read.
According to an article by The Hindu, Noida's district administration has quarantined 200 people living in a slum area of Noida's Sector 8 on April 7. The District officials have stated that they lived close to JJ Colony cluster where three people were tested positive on April 4.
"No new case has been found in Sector 8. This is only an exercise of cluster containment as surveillance teams have traced possible contacts of JJ cluster where COVID-19 infected persons were found. Families are only being quarantined and kept under observation for their welfare and that of their surroundings," district magistrate Suhas L.Y. was quoted as saying.
Propagation Of Fake News
The News Agency's erroneous misleading tweet found it's way into several news outlets.
The false information was mentioned in the Times of India's updates on Delhi lockdown.
In an article published by Jagran, it was reported that news agency ANI quoted Gautam Buddh Nagar DCP Sankalp Sharma saying that people in Noida's Sector 5, Harola, came in contact with Tablighi Jamaat attendees.
Around 3400 Tablighi Jamaat members gathered at the Nizamuddin Markaz on March 13.
The jamaat has been linked to the spread of COVID-19 among hundreds of people in the country.
In light of this, several videos, images and tweets started circulating on social media with varying claims related to the people who participated in the event.
Some of these claims have been refuted by the police.
Sensational newspaper headlines, tweets, can easily mislead and add to the confusion around COVID-19 infodemic across the globe.