Coronavirus scare: Fake COVID-19 message sends Borivli doctor's patients into panic

Updated: Mar 27, 2020, 07:50 IST | Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

Unidentified person circulates message claiming doctor has been treating patients despite being tested for Coronavirus

Dr Vinod C Pandey outside his clinic at Borivli West
Dr Vinod C Pandey outside his clinic at Borivli West

Amid the panic caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spandemic, a Borivli doctor became the victim of a rumour fanned by a fake message claiming that he recently tested positive for the deadly virus but was still seeing his patients.

The fake message doing the rounds among his patients read: "Two days back, an old man came to Dr Vinod C Pandey (Gorai-1) for a check-up and he was found to be positive for Coronavirus. Two days later, sources, after questioning the old man, went to check on the doctor and he also tested positive. In these two days, Dr Pandey attended to many patients. So, now, we can't say how many people have been infected. I kindly request you to stay at home, don't come out for any reason, be safe. Thank you."

The fake message sent his patients into panic and Dr Pandey, who runs a clinic at Mangal Murti society in Gorai, Borivli West, was flooded by numerous calls since Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, he registered a complaint and the police have initiated an inquiry into the matter.

Pandey told mid-day, "This is a rumour. I am not infected with any virus. I am helping people in these worst days and some people are making fun by spreading this fake message. Due to this message not a single patient came to my clinic since today morning. I received a call on Wednesday night from one of my patients and he told me that he has received a message that I am infected with Coronavirus. I told him that it was a fake message. On Thursday morning, I received over 50 calls with the same concern."

"And then there are people who are spreading this message without any confirmation. I appeal to the police to take the strictest action against the person behind this rumour mongering. This has caused panic among my patients who came to me over the past seven days," Dr Pandey added.

Pratik Kedar, a Borivli resident, told mid-day about the message on receiving it on WhatsApp. "I got it in the morning on many WhatsApp groups. But instead of forwarding it to others I contacted mid-day for verification. Thanks to mid-day, I now know for certain it was a rumour and I have informed others too," Kedar said.

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