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'No mass cremations planned': Indian Army clears air on fake news amid coronavirus pandemic

The Indian Army on Monday rebuffed inputs circulating on social media that Army personnel are being trained for undertaking mass cremations in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in the country. The Army called the inputs fake and untrue.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, social media has got flooded with fake news. In a crackdown on fake news, the government on Saturday turned to instant-messaging app WhatsApp and asked it to create awareness about the coronavirus pandemic.

The government also requested various social media services to tackle the spread of misinformation on their platforms.

Meanwhile, all Indian Army hospitals across the country have been put on alert and additional facilities run by the defence forces have been asked to ready to be fully functional within a notice of 48 hours to accommodate suspected novel coronavirus suspects.

These facilities are at Jodhpur (Army), Kolkata (Army), Chennai (Army), Visakhapatnam (Navy), Kochi (Navy), Dundigal near Hyderabad (IAF), Bengaluru (IAF), Kanpur (IAF), Jaisalmer (IAF), Jorhat (IAF) and Gorakhpur (IAF).

Since February 1, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has evacuated 1,059 people, including five foreigners, and quarantined them at the facilities in Manesar (Haryana), Hindon (Uttar Pradesh), Ghatkopar (Maharashtra) and Jaisalmer (Rajasthan).

Earlier in the day, the Indian government permitted Mahan Airways (Iranian airline) to evacuate around 600 Indian nationals from Iran on March 24 and March 28. All these nationals have tested negative for coronavirus.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen to 480 while seven deaths have been reported so far. The government has ordered a complete lockdown of 19 states to curb the spread of coronavirus.

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