Another 46-day nationwide lockdown in India? Government agency PIB’s fact-check

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The internet has been abuzz with speculations that the Indian government was planning to impose another nationwide lockdown lasting for at least 46 days in view of the alarming rise in the COVIS-19 cases in recent days. Those making the claim have been sharing a screenshot of what appears to be a directive from the National Disaster Management Authority.

nationwide lockdown
Photo: ANI

The ‘order’ claiming to be by the National Disaster Management Authority reads, “With the Signs of COVID-19 Peak arriving in India with Increasing Daily case and Deaths, In exercise of the Powers under section 6 (2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, on 10th September 2020 and on 1st December 2020, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) hereby directs the Ministries/Departments of Government of India, Stae Governments and UT’s to take preventive measures to contain the Spread of COVID-19 in the Country, the measures have already been issued by the authority.”

It further read, “In order to contain the spread of Covid-19 and decrease the mortality rate in the country, the National Disaster Management Authority, along with the Planning commission, hereby urges the government of India and directs the Prime Minister office, ministry of home affairs to re-impose a strict nationwide lockdown of 46 days starting from midnight September 25, 2020. Maintaining the supply chain of essential commodities in the country, therefore hereby NDMA is issuing a prior notice to the ministry to plan accordingly.”

The government’s publicity wing, Press Information Bureau, took to Twitter to clarify that the order being circulated on social media was fake. It wrote, “Claim: An order purportedly issued by National Disaster Management Authority claims that it has directed the government to re-impose a nationwide #Lockdown from 25th September. #PIBFactCheck: This order is #Fake. @ndmaindia has not issued any such order to re-impose lockdown.”

India has been recording more than 90,000 COVID-19 cases every day with the death toll exceeding 80,000 mark. India has now become the second worst-hit country by the pandemic in the world.

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