New Delhi, India: India’s government has asked social media platforms to take down anything that alludes to the “Indian strain” of the coronavirus.
The B.1.617 variety was originally discovered in India last year, and it has been blamed for much of the recent Covid-19 outbreak that has ravaged South Asian countries.
It has spread to the United Kingdom and at least 43 other nations, where the name “Indian variety” has become commonplace.
The government decree, issued by the ministry of electronics and information technology on Friday, underscored the administration’s sensitivity to claims that it mishandled the new influx.
The ministry instructed social media companies to “delete all content” that mentions the “Indian variation” in the document.
“It has come to our knowledge that a false statement is being circulated online which implies that an ‘Indian variant’ of coronavirus is spreading across the countries. This is completely FALSE,” read the letter, obtained by AFP.
The decision was based on prior calls to stop “false news and misinformation” about the epidemic being spread on social media, according to the ministry.
It claimed that the World Health Organization has not linked the B.1.617 strain to any country.
As the strain expanded over the world, the WHO branded it a “global concern” last week.
Since the variation was discovered, some nations have banned or severely restricted passengers from India.
New coronavirus variations have developed in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa, and many health specialists and governments have used nation names to describe them.
Since the mutant British strain began spreading in India, Indian government officials have frequently used the term “UK variety.”
The right-wing government’s efforts to contain the next pandemic wave have been chastised. Oxygen, vaccines, hospital beds, and life-saving medications are all in limited supply in India.
Last month, the government ordered dozens of posts critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the situation to be removed from Twitter and Facebook.
In just 24 hours, India recorded another 257,000 cases and 4,194 deaths, bringing the total number of infections and deaths to 26.2 million and 295,525 respectively.
Since late March, when the fresh wave began wreaking havoc on the 1.3 billion-strong country, about half of the deaths have been registered.
In the meantime, the capital, New Delhi, has halted vaccinations for persons under the age of 45 due to a shortage of vaccines.