A fake forward has been circulating on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms with Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian’s phone number and email ID as emergency COVID-19 contact. On May 12, the Greater Chennai Corporation and the official Twitter handle of COVID-19 Chennai Helpline alerted against the fake WhatsApp forward.
The fake message offers the mobile number, landline number, email address and residential address of the newly sworn-in Health Minister of Tamil Nadu.. It also adds that he was the former mayor of Chennai.
While the details of the Minister given in the forward is correct, the fake forward asks people to leave a WhatsApp message to the minister to receive an immediate response.
Please call 104 for all Covid emergencies in #Chennai | Don’t fall for #fakenews— COVID19 Chennai Help (@covid19chennai) May 11, 2021
Verification Credits - Vikatan (@vikatan - https://t.co/Akwmr0w7sW) & Journalist Shabbir Ahmed (@Ahmedshabbir20)#ChennaiHelp #ChennaiSOS #ChennaiCovidHelp #Hospital #FactCheck #TamilNadu pic.twitter.com/bvZa1BkYqF
“Any hospital related issued pls “whatsapp” in that above number [sic] belongs to the Health Minister, u [sic] wil get a call immediately..,” the message read. The minister’s contact was likely taken from the election affidavit where all candidates' details are made public.
Busting the fake tweet, the corporation highlighted that for all COVID-19 related enquiries, citizens are to call 104, and not any other contact.
“Even though the number belongs to Medical and Family Welfare Minister Thiru Ma Subramaniam (also available in his affidavit), there is no announcement made by the Medical ministry of TN government to contact the number for COVID help,” read a clarification note by the COVID-19 Chennai helpline handle.
COVID helpline: 044 46122300/044 25384520
COVID-19 care assistance: 104