As the country continues to wrestle with the scourge of novel coronavirus, some users on Social Media websites are using the grim situation as an opportunity to peddle lies and criticise the authorities tasked with limiting the spread of the virus. Airports Authority of India, Ahmedabad today busted lies of one such user who made spurious claims about lack of his thermal screening at the Ahmedabad airport while returning from Toronto.
A passenger named Abhimanyu Acharya took to Twitter to falsely claim that he did not undergo thermal screening or any other kind of checks when he landed at the Ahmedabad airport from Toronto. He added that he was simply asked to fill a self-declaration form and was advised to stay in isolation for two weeks before letting him go. Abhimanyu tagged PMO India and Ahmedabad Airport Fan Club Twitter account to assert that if this is how screenings are happening at the Indian airports, the country will be in great trouble.
However, before long, the official Twitter account of the Airports Authority of India, Ahmedabad, called out Abhimanyu for making unfounded allegations designed to incite panic in the society. The tweet read that the Airport officials are endangering their lives to support the society and his (Abhimanyu) statements are inappropriate and hurting. The tweet also included the details of the flight with precise timing as to when Abhimanyu deplaned and underwent infrared thermal scanning at the airport along with relevant pictures attached to back their claims.
Mr. Abhimanyu: Airport officials are putting their lives on risk to support the Society. Your statement is inappropriate and hurting. You deplaned on EY288 today at 0244 hrs & Infrared Thermal scanned at 0248 hrs. Please do not spread panic in Society and be a responsible citizen https://t.co/4SwbPhiojA pic.twitter.com/GEg6aEzo9S— APD Ahmedabad (@aaisvpiairport) March 21, 2020
Furthermore, the official Twitter account of the Airports Authority of India, Ahmedabad, also released a CCTV footage from the Ahmedabad airport, in which it is clearly visible that Abhimanyu Acharya did undergo infrared thermal screening after deplaning his flight.
However, after being called out for his deceit with the relevant video footage, Abhimanyu deleted his tweet and appeared to defend himself by claiming that he felt infrared thermal screening was “mere eye checking”.
Thank you so much for this. It seemed like mere eye checking. I apologize for my earlier tweet, and have deleted it.— Abhimanyu (@Abhimanyu2409) March 21, 2020
It is not known what he was expecting at a thermal check, because it means reading the temperature of the travellers, which was done with him, to see if they are having a high temperature, a primary symptom of Covid-19. The thermal screening at airports is being done using handheld infrared thermometers, which can read the temperature of persons without coming into contact with them. They are ideal for airport screenings, because if contact devices like digital thermometers or mercury thermometers are used, they will need to be disinfected after every single person is checked.
The cases of coronavirus in the country are steadily increasing as the confirmed positive case crossed the 300-mark. The central government have intensified their efforts to stem the spread of the contagion by mandating thermal screening at the airports and sending suspicious cases for quarantine. It has also announced the suspension of all international flights from March 22, 2020, and has been vigorously endorsing “social distancing” to its populace.