An edited screenshot carrying the logo of regional news channel, TV9 Marathi is doing rounds on social media to falsely claim that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced a 15-day strict lockdown due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the state.
After the announcement of a week-long lockdown in the Amravati district since Monday, 22 February and other restrictions in regions like Pune, Yavatmal and Akola, the CM has warned of a state-wide lockdown, if COVID-19 guidelines are not followed. However, there has been no announcement of a lockdown from 1 March as claimed.
Several users shared a screenshot of a news bulletin which claimed that a strict lockdown will be imposed for 15 days in the entire state from 1 March 2021, along with a picture of CM Thackeray.
The screenshot was also viral back in March 2020 with a different text.
The Quint also received a query regarding the image on its WhatsApp helpline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A reverse image search of Thackeray’s image led us to his address dated 22 March, 2020 when the Maharashtra government had imposed Section 144 in all urban areas of the state.
A comparison of the two images can be seen below.
We also came across a tweet by TV9 Marathi on 22 March 2020, carrying a still from its news bulletin on Thackeray’s address. However, we could not find a video of the same.
A comparison below shows that the difference between the real and the viral bulletin. If you carefully notice, the font of the text plate is different in the viral screenshot.
Further, we found no credible news reports regarding a lockdown in the state of Maharashtra from 1 March 2021.
In his address on 21 February, the CM said that it would take around 8-15 days to ascertain the situation. He further said that a lockdown will have to be announced if the cases keep increasing.
CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray addressing the state https://t.co/aU3H6umKzm
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) February 21, 2021
While TV9 Marathi carried a news bulletin on the same, it did not use the incorrect text seen in the edited screenshot.
A lockdown has been imposed in Amravati for a week, starting on Monday, and schools and colleges have been shut down in Pune and Yavatmal. Further, a night curfew has been imposed in Nashik. This comes amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, which had been reporting over 6,000 cases in the last few days.
Evidently, a screenshot of a news bulletin, mischievously edited to carry a logo of TV9 Marathi, has been circulated to falsely claim that Thackeray has announced a lockdown from 1 March.
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