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The Karnataka Department of Health and Family Welfare Services on Tuesday warned against sharing of misinformation and/ non-factual data.

In an official statement the state health department said that anybody found spreading misinformation would face governmental action as per Section 54 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Section 4(k) of Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020.

These actioned would be valid in all social media platforms as well as media houses.

The state government said that spreading of misinformation or non-factual data would be deemed as an offence and the offender would be penalized.

The Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 , says "Whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine. —Whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine."

The health department also mentioned, “It has come to the notice of Government that few medical practitioners, while communicating to public on various media platforms, are giving incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information about #COVID19."

The state cited their decision to penalise such actions to the fact that some medical practitioners or health workers have been giving incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information to the patients. 

Such actions have the potential of creating frenzy among citizens and the state's action aims to prevent that. 

The Commissionerate of Health and Family Services said some medical practitioners were allegedly giving incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information about Covid-19. "Such misinformation leads to confusion in public at large on the prevailing Covid scenario in the State and encourages them to deviate from well laid out guidelines issued by the health and revenue authorities," the statement said.

According to health officials, a few doctors recently appeared in some news channels and allegedly gave statements contrary to the facts and had the potential to trigger panic among people about COVID-19.

During the third wave of coronavirus that has grappled the country, Karnataka remains the second highest contributor, after Maharashtra.

The state logged 27,156 new Covid-19 cases, 7827 recoveries and 14 Covid-19 related deaths on Monday.

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