The accused were charged under the Epidemic Diseases Act, police said (Representational)
Telangana Police on Monday arrested three persons and charged a fourth man for spreading fake news about coronavirus on social media.
Three people including a WhatsApp group admin were arrested. Police said they spread false news on the social platforms by forwarding a fake picture.
One of the accused allegedly downloaded a picture of a patient lying on a hospital bed, edited it and claimed that a man from the district died of coronavirus in Hyderabad's Gandhi Hospital.
Police said the accused forwarded the picture, thereby creating panic among people. They were charged under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 for spreading false information and rumours.
Meanwhile, Rachakonda police on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Monday charged an unidentified person for allegedly spreading rumours about coronavirus. The man shared a message on WhatsApp claiming that three people from the area tested positive for COVID-19. As the message went viral and triggered panic, police launched an inquiry and found that it was false information.
A case against the accused was registered under National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Act. Police were trying to track the accused and arrest him.
Police have warned that those spreading false news and rumours on coronavirus may be jailed up to one year.