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Coronavirus | Odisha government falls prey to fake news on Oxford University study

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A doubtful report lauding measures to include COVID-19 in Ganjam district was tweeted by CMO

The Odisha government appears to have fallen prey to fake news. A doubtful news report citing a purported Oxford University study that praised measures to include COVID-19 unfold in Ganjam district was promoted by the highest Odisha administration on social media.

Quoting the news report, Office of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik jumped to spotlight the ‘recognition’ by tweeting, “Ganjam earned praise from @UniofOxford for its successful model of #COVID-19 infection prevention. The district excelled in #CovidManagement by empowering sarpanchs, forming committees in villages for intensive screening and by ensuring proper healthcare.”

As quickly because the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) put out the tweet on Thursday, the official deal with of the district Justice of the Peace of Ganjam too tweeted, “Ganjam Model of COVID Management got recognized by @UniofOxford for successful infection prevention strategies. Our gratitude and appreciation to Team Ganjam.”

When doubts had been forged on the purported study, the CMO deleted the tweet in English, but it surely continued with the Odia tweet which quoted one other web site. Almost all vernacular dailies carried the reported Oxford University study prominently on Friday.

When requested in regards to the study, Ganjam District Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange mentioned he didn’t have the study, however promised to discover it out later within the day.

The news report quoted by the CMO, Odisha says, “the first case was found on May 2 in Ganjam district of Odisha. In August, the rate of getting the patient reached 59%, after which measures were taken, now 98% of the 20430 patients have been fully vaccinated, only 188 patients are left.”

In an obvious hurry to spotlight the government’s achievement, the CMO ignored the content material of the news with weird description — “now 98% of the 20430 patients have been fully vaccinated, only 188 patients are left.”

Instead of the Oxford University study, Mr. Kulange offered a doc titled ‘Ganjam Model on COVID Management’ which says, “with the receipt of more than 4 lakh migrants in a district of the size and scale of Ganjam, the district has had a long-drawn battle with COVID.”

“It was only after a period of time in August that the numerous initiatives taken by the administration such as high testing levels, red zone management, containment measures, healthcare facilities and community involvement began to show results,” it says.

“More than 97% of positive cases have recovered so far and the doctors and all paramedic staffs have had numerous sleepless nights to save lives of thousands of COVID positive patients,” the administration boasts.



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