Emergency medicine expert disowns social media message

An emergency medicine expert in a well-known private hospital in Kozhikode city has again filed a complaint with the police against a social message attributed to him being circulated in social media on a “COVID-19 third wave”.

P.P. Venugopalan, head of Emergency Medicine, Aster MIMS Hospital, Kozhikode, told the media here on Monday that a few months ago, unscientific and baseless information attributed to him had been found in social media. “It was both in English language and Malayalam. I had then filed complaints with the police and explained through the media that I had nothing to do with that message. I had pointed out that both my name and my organisation’s name were being misused,” he said.

In recent days, when the Omicron variant was discovered, the same message with minor alterations started circulating in social media again. Dr. Venugopalan said that a prominent news portal too had carried it. “None of them contacted me to seek my clarification. I reiterate that I have nothing to do with that message,” he said.

The message attributed to Dr. Venugopalan says that a third wave of COVID-19 was a reality and there would not be symptoms such as cough and fever. But the common symptoms would be joint pain, headache, neck pain and back pain. It is more dangerous and the mortality rate is higher, the message claimed.

The police, however, have expressed helplessness in blocking the messages being circulated in WhatsApp, which are encrypted, Dr. Venugopalan claimed. “The message seems to have originated in New Delhi and then translated using Google translator. It has been removed from Facebook and Twitter,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 11:28:00 AM |

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