MUMBAI: Cracking the whip on misinformation being spread about novel coronavirus infection, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has issued a notice to a Mumbai-based doctor who had termed the virus as a "Chinese fad" which will not survive in the Indian summer.
The MMC has sought an explanation from Dr Anil Patil from Dadar in central Mumbai whether he has any study to substantiate his claims.
"The notice has been issued to Dr Anil Patil about whether he has any study or database to substantiate his claims about the virus," MMC president Dr Shivkumar Uttekar said on Tuesday.
He said Dr Patil had made several claims in his interviews that are prima facie violative of advisories issued by the Central government.
"It is unaccepted on the part of Dr Patil to speak against the advisories of the Central and state governments regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak. We asked him to clarify his views as he had repeatedly dismissed the outbreak and its seriousness," he said.
Dr Uttekar said Dr Patil had reportedly made claims that the fear over novel coronavirus is unwarranted and that the virus will not survive in Indian summer.
Dr Patil had also claimed that the virus is a "Chinese fad" which is aimed at creating a business opportunity for factories that manufacture masks, the MMC chief said.
Dr Patil had also claimed that the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which had appeared in China in 2002, had no effect on Indians.
"His video clips have gone viral on social media, which may encourage people to remain careless about personal hygiene. Hence we have issued notice to him," Dr Uttekar said.
Maharashtra has reported one COVID-19 death while 38 people have tested positive from the state.