Wednesday, October 21, 2020

PTI spreads another fake news, misquotes PM Modi on coronavirus cases in India

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— Consider reading the article PTI spreads another fake news, misquotes PM Modi on coronavirus cases in India on OpIndia website —

News agency Press Trust of India (PTI) today misquoted Prime Minister Modi on the percentage of active Chinese coronavirus cases in India. Prime Minister Modi while interacting with the Chief Ministers of ten states of India said that in past few weeks, the percentage of active coronavirus cases in India has been coming down.

Active cases
का प्रतिशत कम हुआ है,
recovery rate बढ़ा है,

तो इसका अर्थ है कि हमारे प्रयास कारगर सिद्ध हो रहे हैं!

सबसे अहम बात है,
कि इससे लोगों के बीच भी एक भरोसा बढ़ा है,
आत्मविश्वास बढ़ा है,
और डर भी कुछ कम हुआ है: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 11, 2020

Prime Minister Modi said that the percentage of active cases of coronavirus cases in India has come down and the recovery rate has come up. “That means, our efforts have been fruitful,” PM Modi said. He added that this has added ray of hope and made us confident that things will get better soon.

However, news agency PTI again misquoted him and reported that PM Modi said that the number of active cases of COVID-19 in India have come down.

PTI misquotes PM Modi

This information is not only incorrect in sense that it misquotes PM Modi but it is also misleading because the absolute number of active cases of coronavirus in India is increasing. However, since the recovery rate has also gone up, the daily active cases curve has slightly taken a curve, thereby showing a decrease in the percentage of active coronavirus cases.

Active coronavirus cases in India

The absolute number of active cases of coronavirus have been increasing at a decreasing rate since past few days. That means, while the total new cases are also rising, so are the recoveries.

Slight bend in the daily total of active cases in India (graph courtesy: worldometers.info)

As per the details shared by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), one can notice a consistent decline in the total percentage of active cases.

Graph of recovery rate and active cases rate since June 15 (graph courtesy: PIB)

As can be seen above, the recovery rate is currently at almost 70%, which means almost 70% of total Chinese coronavirus patients in India have recovered. The same was about 51% on June 15. While India has still not peaked (where daily recoveries are more than daily new active cases consistently), the above graph shows that India is well on its path to recovery.

Hence, even though number of active cases is rising consistently, the percentage of active cases in India is seeing a decline.

PTI, the habitual fake news spreader

Earlier in June, PTI interviewed Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong wherein he blamed India for the clash between the two countries at Galwan Valley. PTI received flak over the fact that its journalist did not bother to counter-question the Chinese ambassador on his dubious claims. People had also pointed out that the ‘interview’ came across as a press release by the Chinese Communist Party rather than a genuine interview.

During Delhi assembly elections held earlier this year, the news agency had completely misreported the share of candidates with criminal records from various parties. While AAP had 51% candidates facing serious criminal cases, PTI reported it as only 25%, misquoting a report by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). Similarly, they had also changed the numbers for BJP and Congress.

Similarly, in July last year, PTI had published a report claiming that finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in parliament that demonetisation has no affect on economy. The finance minister herself had to clarify that she didn’t made any such statement, after several media houses carried the misleading report.

Update: PTI has now deleted its original tweet and tweeted a more accurate tweet on quote of PM Modi.

Percentage of active coronavirus cases is reducing, says PM Narendra Modi.

— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 11, 2020

However, PTI has not offered any apology for the same.

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