Rumour-mongers spread panic in village, keep officials on their toes

Health condition of all the 434 residents of Dodda Haranahalli in K.R. Pet taluk examined

Even as the Mandya district administration is in a fire-fighting mode to combat the spread/outbreak of COVID, some miscreants on Wednesday triggered panic among the entire residents of Dodda Haranahalli in Mandya district by spreading a rumour of outbreak of a “yet-to-be-confirmed epidemic.”

Subsequent to the circulation of the rumour in electronic media as well social networking sites, senior officials from various departments rushed to the village in K.R. Pet taluk.

A thorough examination of health of villagers as well as quality of water being supplied proved that some electronic media scribes had fallen prey to messages on the issue that they received.

According to a message in social media in the afternoon hours, around 100 persons in the village were suffering from fever and cough. Soon, the message was widely circulated in the electronic media.

Stunned by the development, senior officials, including District Health and Family Welfare Officer H.P. Manche Gowda and Pandavapura Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) V.R. Shailaja and others rushed to the spot.

A good number of health workers, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), and police and revenue department employees were also sent to the village. The health condition of all the 434 villagers from 82 families was examined.

A section of the media had reported that the villagers were hesitating to approach the Health Department fearing that they would be either quarantined or isolated, as many had returned from Mumbai and the Gulf countries. But, no one in the village is suffering from any [especially COVID-19] epidemic. It was hoax news, Mr. Manche Gowda told The Hindu.

Ms. Shailaja has requested the people not to spread rumours as the entire country is fighting the COVID-19.

Deputy Commissioner M.V. Venkatesh said that he has instructed Superintendent of Police K. Parashuram to file a FIR against the persons who spread the rumour.

Many villagers said they locked themselves inside following the rumour.

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