In the last few days, news of a doctor from Guwahati has been making the rounds in social media. This doctor has claimed that the COVID19 pandemic is a hoax and that the whole world has been lying about it. He has questioned the WHO, mocked the tireless efforts of the healthcare professionals across the world, and claimed that he was the first one in Assam to flag off this as a fake pandemic. While absurd it may sound, he is getting some attention from a section of people, fuelled by a few Facebook based media bodies.
It is to be mentioned that this doctor had been previously accused of murder charges a few years back of which news was published in all major newspapers of Assam. Later, he was acquitted by the local trial court. In some recent interview of this doctor by some newborn local news portal and few news channels, the Assamese doctor claimed that the news of his arrest in connection of murder is still “not removed” from the Times of Assam website because of alleged links of the website with a militant outfit! With this absurd argument, the doctor obviously has indulged in a dirty blame game without knowing the history of the Times of Assam. The Times of Assam has been accused and threatened multiple times by militant groups throughout its lifetime and accused of acting for RAW as there have been many articles contributed by Senior Analysts from the Defense forces as well as National Security. Even the ULFA[I] Supremo Paresh Baruah had several times gave warnings to the Editorial team earlier (also Published and available in the online archives of Times of Assam). As such the doctor’s claim that Times of Assam may be linked to militant outfits is not only absurd but something which makes him eligible to be sued in the court of law for defamation.
This claim, as well as the claim “COVID19 is a hoax” has exposed the lack of knowledge of this doctor on the relevant matter. No newspaper or news portal ever deletes, removes, or scraps a piece of news or an edition already published whether it is a print version or an electronic version. By raking up this old issue himself with such baseless points, the doctor might have just proved that he needs medical assistance himself in terms of support and treatment of mental health which is also becoming a concern for many people during this pandemic. As he is claiming Covid19 is not a hoax and the world knows it. Yes, none can deny that there may be several scams associated with this pandemic as many opportunist bodies are trying to use the situation to their benefit, but the Guwahati based doctor claims that there is not even an actual patient! Several Senior Journalists as well as medical practitioners at the forefront of Assam’s fight against this pandemic, too have voiced their concern about this doctors’ misleading claims and mental health.
So far, Assam’s minister Himanta Biswa Sharma and Pijush Hazarika asked civic society to ignore the doctor’s notorious claim, and have appealed to the people of the state to follow WHO(World Health Organization) and ICMR(Indian Council of Medical Research) guidelines. While contacted, several senior Assamese journalists told Times of Assam that the doctor is mentally ill for more than a decade and his claim should not be endorsed.
While the doctor has been happily giving interviews (without wearing a mask) and misleading the people that there is no pandemic, he has utterly failed to give a logical medical explanation for why this is a fake pandemic. If someone claims there is a hoax, it is his or her responsibility to prove that it is indeed a hoax. Unfortunately, this doctor is seen trying to become a star by promoting fake claims instead, without any sort of evidence.