Zee News was called out once again for broadcasting fake news related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, April 9, the news channel had reported that there were 11 positive cases of COVID-19 in Arunachal Pradesh and linked them to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering.
"There are 11 positive cases of coronavirus in Arunachal Pradesh which have connections with the Delhi's Tablighi Jamaat," read the false news report.
Soon after, on Friday, April 10, Zee News was called out by the Arunachal Pradesh Information and Public Relations department for falsely reporting that the state has 11 COVID-19 patients who can be traced back to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi.
Arunachal DIPR clarified that the report did not reveal the true facts. "This is to clarify that Arunachal Pradesh has got only 1 COVID-19 positive case till date. The reporting by Zeenews is false and does not carry any authenticity," read DIPR's tweet.
This is to clarify that Arunachal Pradesh has got only 1 COVID-19 positive case till date.— ARUNACHAL IPR (@ArunachalDIPR) April 9, 2020
The reporting by Zeenews is false and does not carry any authenticity. pic.twitter.com/d74hBGDWbd
"Fake news during this 21-day lockdown will only not only mislead people but also create panic and frustration among the masses. We already have seen so many fake audio messages going viral in social media after which people started boycotting some individuals," Eastmojo quoted a government official as saying on condition of anonymity.
This is the second incidence in a week where the police had called out Zee News for broadcasting fake news. Earlier Firozabad police had called out the report that said stones were pelted on the medical team which went to receive the four Tablighi Jamaat patients in Firozbad.