NEW DELHI: India’s government has ordered social media platforms to take down content that refers to the “Indian variant” of the coronavirus, reports AFP.
The B.1.617 variant was first detected in India last year and has been blamed for much of a devastating Covid-19 wave that has battered South Asian nations in recent weeks.It has spread to Britain and at least 43 other countries, where “Indian variant” has become a widely used term.
India on Saturday reported another 257,000 cases and 4,194 deaths in 24 hours, taking its total to 26.2 million infections and 295,525 deaths.
The government order, sent Friday by the electronics and information technology ministry, highlighted government sensitivity to accusations that it has mishandled the new surge.
In it, the ministry told social media companies to “remove all the content” that refers to the “Indian variant”.
“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.