No lockdown in Telangana, govt clarifies as fake GO causes panic

Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Thursday night clarified that it is not considering the imposition of another lockdown in the state. Chief secretary Somesh Kumar in a statement debunked an unsigned document, which fooled many into believing that it was a real government order (GO) which said shops and establishments will stay shut from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m from April 1 in view of rising COVID-19 cases in the state.

“It has come to the notice of government that an unsigned document claiming to be a GO issued on 1st April 2021 providing for closure of shops and commercial establishments etc. is circulating on social media. It is hereby clarified that the above said document is fake. No such order has been issued by Government of Telangana.It is also clarified that there is no consideration for any lockdown,” Somesh Kumar said in a statement, released on Thursday.

Image of the fake government order of a partial lockdown that was circulating on social media in Telangana on April 1. (Photo: Siasat)

The fake GO, which was dished out in Somesh Kumar’s name, bore so signature of any government official. It managed to fool several people, given that it the format was similar to that of GOs the state government releases routinely. According to the fake document, shops and establishments were asked to stay shut from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. with immediate effect in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

When contacted, an official from chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) office said that the document was totally fake, and that the police will investigate into the matter. While there were many rumours that Telangana, which has been seeing a gradual rise in COVID-19 cases over the past week, might go into lockdown again, KCR in the state Assembly clearly said that there won’t be any more lockdowns in Telangana.

The fake document, apart from being circulated on social media, was also sent across Whatsapp groups. It is highly likely that the fake GO is also an April Fool’s prank by some mischievous person. It may be recalled that Telangana was the first state to actually impose a lockdown last year in March, after which the nationwide lockdown was set in motion to counter the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.