Singapore orders Facebook, Twitter to swat Indian CM’s ‘false virus claim’

SINGAPORE, (MANEND NEWS): In view of the ‘false claims’ by an Indian chief minister of a new ‘Singapore variant’ of coronavirus, Singapore on Thursday ordered Facebook and Twitter to warn users about his “unfounded assertions”.

New Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed this week on social media a strain of the virus had emerged in Singapore that could trigger a new wave of cases in India, and urged a flight ban.

Singapore strongly rejected the assertion by the Indian chief minister.

The official Spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi confirmed that the Singapore government called in Indian High Commissioner to convey strong objection to Delhi CM’s tweet on “Singapore variant”.

The claims about a “Singapore variant” began circulating online, prompting leaders to order Facebook, Twitter and a local technology-focused portal to post the warnings.

Facebook confirmed it had received the request and was legally compelled to comply. Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Facebook users in Singapore received a warning notice and were directed to a government-run site aimed at debunking false information.

“There is no new ‘Singapore’ variant of Covid-19,” it said. “The strain that is prevalent in many of the Covid-19 cases detected in Singapore… originated from India.”

India is suffering one of the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreaks while Singapore has largely kept the disease in check, although it has seen a slight increase in locally transmitted infections recently.

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