Singapore invokes anti-misinformation law on Kejriwal's claim on new variant, orders FB, Twitter to issue correction
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) has invoked its anti-misinformation law or the Protection from Online Falsehoods & Manipulation Act (POFMA) against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday in connection to his tweet claiming the occurrence of a new COVID-19 strain from Singapore which majorly affects children, news agency ANI reported.
The Ministry has also instructed its POFMA office to issue General Correction Directions to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and SPH Magazines Pte Ltd, Singapore’s premier magazine media company. All these platforms have been asked to carry Correction Notices to all users in Singapore who use these three social media and information platforms.
As per this instruction, the social media and information portals are supposed to correct and clarify the falsehood regarding the “Singapore” Covid-19 strain. "There is no new "Singapore" variant of COVID 19. Neither is there evidence of any COVID-19 variant that is 'extremely dangerous for kids,” reads MOH correction notice.
"The strain that is prevalent in many of the COVID-19 cases detected in Singapore in recent weeks is the B.1.617.2 variant, which originated from India. The existence and spread of the B.1.617.2 variant within India predate the detection of the variant in Singapore, and this has been publicly known and reported by various media sources from as early as 5 May 2021,” the MOH correction notice further reads.
Earlier, the Delhi Chief Minister took to his Twitter to inform the public about an allegedly new Coronavirus variant found in Singapore. The Minister claimed that the variant is dangerous for kids and urged the Central government to cancel air services from Singapore with immediate effect and work on vaccine alternatives for children on an urgent basis. The Minister also expressed apprehension that the new variant of Coronavirus might reach Delhi in the form of a third wave.
This remark for Arvind Kejriwal evoked alarm and response from the Singapore authorities. The Indian envoy to Singapore was also called by the foreign ministry of Singapore to seek clarification after which he clarified that Delhi CM has no competence to pronounce on COVID variants or civil aviation policy.
Later, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also commented on the matter. Jaishankar asserted that Kejriwal doesn't speak for India. Singapore High Commissioner Simon Wong also came down heavily on Arvind Kejriwal and said that Singapore reserves the right to invoke his country's online fake news Act on the Delhi Chief Minister's assertions.
(With ANI Inputs)
Posted By: Talibuddin Khan