Dampener for drinkers
“Alcohol cures coronavirus” might have started as a harmless joke on social media but such is the nature of the medium that nothing remains innocuous beyond a point. On Thursday, the Press Information Bureau had to come up with an official clarification in a tweet quoting the World Health Organization’s tweet from February 26: “Another misinformation on #Coronavirus circulating on social media asserts that consumption of alcohol prevents #Coronavirus infection. This rumour is #Fake! Drinking alcohol does not protect you from #nCoV infection.” Despite the implausibility of this theory, those who love their drink would have jumped with joy when the rumour first hit their phone screens and promptly forwarded those messages. Will this latest clarification sober them up? After all, if there is one thing that spreads faster than a virus, it’s rumours on social media.
The serious concern of Covid-19 elicited laughter in Parliament after a Rajya Sabha MP on Thursday showed up in a face mask, carrying a bottle of hand sanitiser. He was also carrying a letter addressed to the chairperson of the Upper House, requesting him to instal technologies such as thermal imaging on the Parliament premises, to screen potential carriers of coronavirus. Things, however, took a hilarious turn when the AAP MP approached an actor-turned-politician who is also a Union minister, with the bottle of sanitiser still in his hand. The minister apparently told him: “Actor main hoon, acting aap kar rahe hain (I am the actor, but you are the one acting).” Those gathered burst out in laughter.
Opposition praises ministry
Opposition members on the parliamentary committee on transport, tourism and culture are increasingly getting intrigued at the questions of their Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) colleagues to officials representing the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The committee looks at the functioning of five ministries — civil aviation, tourism, culture, road transport and highways and shipping. While the Opposition members are all praise for the manner in which Ministry of Road Transport and Highways proactively answers their queries and addresses their problems during meetings, the BJP members complain that their concerns have not been addressed or the ministry has a lackadaisical attitude. The ministry has also come under fire over allegations that rioters in Delhi used its Vahan app to identify owners of vehicles and burn them during the recent violence.