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Coronavirus: Did Russia Announce Closure of Its Airspace For China?

While we have debunked multiple reports on misinformation about coronavirus in the past, we were flagged to fact check a claim which states that the Russian authorities have announced the closure of the airspace and the suspension of all its incoming and outgoing flights to China.

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Claim

Russia announces the closure of airspace and suspension of all its incoming and outgoing flights to China.

Verification

Coronavirus, an epidemic that started late December last year, has fallen prey to misinformation. Personal interest, political motivation, ideological or religious beliefs, there could be several possibilities that can be blamed for the effective spread of misinformation regarding coronavirus. While we have debunked multiple reports on misinformation about coronavirus in the past, we were flagged to fact check a claim which states that the Russian authorities have announced the closure of the airspace and the suspension of all its incoming and outgoing flights to China. Along with the airspace closure information, a list of preventive measures from the coronavirus is also a part of the claim. The claim has been widely shared and this is how it reached us to fact check.

As we began our fact check, we first checked the official Twitter handle of the Russian Government as regular updates regarding the daily functioning of the Russian Govt are updated here. We didn’t find any specific detail to conclude, however, there were other important and noteworthy announcements which are listed below.

The tweet informing the temporary restriction of the arrival of Chinese nationals to Russia.

The tweet informing the temporary restriction on the movement of Chinese citizens in some sections of Russia and partial closing of land borders.

The tweet suggests the preventive measure from the coronavirus.

The tweet informing the partial restriction on flights.

The tweet informing the extension in the restrictions.

The tweet informing Russia’s take on Chinese students in the country.

The tweet informing the suspension of air services to South Korea.

The tweet informing the ban of transit visas to travelers from Iran and tourist visas to Iranian nationals.

The latest tweet on coronavirus by the official handle of the Russian government.

After checking the official Twitter handle of the Russian government thoroughly, we checked media reports and other official’s statements to collect more information on the issue. During our investigation, we found the latest statement released by the Russian government in the wake of coronavirus.

Briefing by Tatyana Golikova and Head of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare Anna Popova following the meeting of the emergency response centre to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Russia

The meeting of the emergency response centre was held on 26 February 2020. Excerpts from the transcript: Tatyana Golikova: Good afternoon, colleagues. Today’s meeting of the emergency response centre is over. First of all, we had to decide on the feasibility of extending the restrictions that are in effect until 1 March 2020 and relate to the land border, flights and various other bans.

An excerpt from the official statement reads, “We are extending until 1 April all the restrictions that are in effect until 1 March. Tomorrow the responsible federal executive authorities will submit the relevant regulatory documents for signature to the Prime Minister. The same applies to restrictions on hosting international events. Let me remind you that we extended the university winter break for students from the People’s Republic of China until 1 March. But since it was later decided to put restrictions on student visas, today we also discussed online education arrangements. The Minister of Science and Higher Education reported that such an education option is available at most higher education institutions, and received an additional instruction – to fully assess the situation so that we can ensure the right of Chinese students to study at Russian universities, but through an online format. Regarding additional measures, in the light of the available and incoming information about the situation in South Korea, Iran and Italy, we separately evaluated measures which the Russian Federation could take in this connection and decided that from midnight on 1 March we will suspend all South Korea flights except those operated by Aeroflot and its subsidiary Aurora. Aurora will run charter flights until all Russian citizens are brought back from the Republic of Korea. Aeroflot will continue service to Moscow, and citizens arriving from the Republic of Korea will also pass through Terminal F at Sheremetyevo Airport.”

Now, as it was evident from our fact check that the Russian government had imposed some temporary and partial ban on the movement of Chinese nationals, we tried to know the current status of the ban and its types.

We found a story published by Reuters that reports the conduct of air services between China and other countries. The report was published on February 29, 2020, at 01:24 AM. 

Factbox: Airlines suspend flights due to coronavirus outbreak

(Reuters) – Airlines have been suspending flights or modifying service in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Below are details (in alphabetical order): **American Airlines () – Extends suspension of China and Hong Kong flights through April 24 **Air France () – Said on Feb.

Reporting the status of air services between China and Russia, Reuters’ story mentions that “All Russian airlines, with the exception of national airline Aeroflot (AFLT.MM), stopped flying to China from Jan. 31. Small airline Ikar will also continue flights between Moscow and China. All planes arriving from China will be sent to a separate terminal in the Moscow Sheremetyevo airport. Aeroflot reduced the frequency of flights to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou until Feb. 29.”

We also found a report published by Washington Post that throws more light on the issue.

Opinion | Russia and China are taking different but equally dangerous approaches to coronavirus

TWO OPPOSING but equally malignant approaches to the coronavirus epidemic are emerging. One would flood the information space with lies, while the other would shut that space down to all voices but one. Their sponsors, not surprisingly, are Russia and China. Open governments are struggling to encourage responsibility about a growing pandemic without inspiring panic.

We also searched the flights from Moscow to Beijing and we found that a flight from Moscow will fly for Beijing tomorrow at 09:10 PM. 

We also searched the official website of Russian airline namely ‘Aeroflot’ and we found that the economy class tickets for today’s flight from Moscow to Beijing are not available.

However, when we changed the class and the date of the journey, we found that the tickets are available and can be booked.

When we proceeded to book tickets, we found more details about the seats left and the price.

Now, we began fact-checking the preventive measures and the symptoms of the epidemic mentioned in the claim and we found that these aspects have been correctly mentioned in the claim. However, a detailed report on the preventive measures and symptoms can be viewed below.

Here’s all you need to know about Coronavirus

Coronavirus, after setting its root in China’s Wuhan province, is now spreading in America, Asia, Australia and Europe. If you are reading this in India, possibilities of the existence of this virus cannot be denied completely. As per media reports, 11 people are kept under close observation.

Hence, it is evident from our fact check that Russia has not suspended all the incoming and outgoing flights to China.

Sources

Google Search

Result:  Misleading

(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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Coronavirus

False Claim About People in China Not Taking Any Medicine Or Vaccine For Coronavirus Goes Viral

Contrary to the claim which says that people in China have stopped going to the hospital for cure, news report from China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency says otherwise.

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People in China are not killing coronavirus with heat or recovering in five days.

Claim 

A social media post claims that the Chinese aren’t taking any medicine or vaccine for coronavirus. They’re instead killing the virus with heat and recovering in five days. 

We received the above image on our Whatsapp verification number. The claim which is an image of a social media post allegedly posted by Tahir Mahmood Chaudry starts with a disclaimer that the message is a translation from an Indian living in Wuhan. 

Using keywords we found multiple social media posts with the same claim being circulated since April, 2020. See of few examples below:

Fact Check

The claim in context was allegedly posted by Tahir Mahmood Chaudry, Executive director at Ovex Technologies. Chaudry’s social media profiles confirm his designation, but whether he posted this claim or not remains unknown. We’ve reached out to him for verification and will update the copy if we receive a response. 

Moving on to the first part of the claim which says, 

“Chinese are not taking any medicine or any vaccine for Corona virus. Every household has a Corona virus case. They have stopped going to hospital for cure. They instead kill the virus with heat.” 

We found no credible news report or information from any official source which supports the claim that every household in China has a COVID-19 case and that they aren’t taking any medicine or vaccine for it. 

Contrary to the claim which says that people in China have stopped going to the hospital for cure,  a 30 June news report from China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency states, “By Monday, the Chinese mainland had reported a total of 1,918 imported cases. Of the cases, 1,830 had been discharged after recovery, and 88 remained hospitalized. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.” 

The second part of the claim states, 

“Very Hot Steam Inhalation from kettle 4 times a day

Hot Gargles 4 times a day

Hot tea 4 times a day

Virus dies in 4 days.

5th Day you are Corona Negative.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that our normal body temperature remains around 36.5 degree Celsius to 37 degree Celsius irrespective of temperature of the bath or shower. In fact baths from extremely hot water can burn us. 

The WHO also also clarified that while some traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate mild COVID-19 symptoms, there is no known vaccine or medicine to prevent or cure the disease so far. 

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in its immunity boosting guidelines recommends general measures such as drinking warm water, herbal tea, and steam inhalation among other things. But it also clearly states that this advisory is in no way a treatment for COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) in its COVID-19 guidelines also states that there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus. 

You can read our other fact checks related to the novel coronavirus here.

Conclusion 

The social media post claiming that the Chinese aren’t taking any medicine or vaccine for coronavirus and other included details are false. 

Tools Used

  • Google advanced search 
  • Twitter advanced search

Result: False 

If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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Coronavirus

No, He Is Not Bharat Biotech’s VP Taking The First Dose of COVID Vaccine ‘Covaxin’

Social media users circulated a false image claiming that the vice president of Bharat Biotech has undergone the first clinical trial of the coronavirus vaccine.

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No, He Is Not Bharat Biotech’s VP Taking The First Dose of COVID Vaccine ‘Covaxin’

Several social users posted a picture of a woman thrusting a syringe in man’s vein and claimed that the man in the picture is Bharat Biotech’s Vice President, Dr. VK Srinivas, and the first dose of the vaccine was administered on him.

According to a report in Live Mint, Bharat Biotech, an unlisted Indian vaccine maker, has received regulatory approval to start human clinical trials for its experimental shot. The phase 1 trial of Covaxine will begin next week. The company has planned to enroll 375 people in the first phase of clinical trials.

We found that the same image is viral on Twitter and Facebook with a caption, “Dr. V. K.Srinivas, Vice President, Bharat biotech, taking Corona vaccine clinical trial immediately after taking the first dose. He is the first person in India to take vaccine developed by him and his team in Bharat Biotech. Look at the confidence.”

Fact Check

As we began fact-checking the claim, we looked for some media reports backing the claim, but we did not find any authentic information to corroborate.

However, during our research, we came across the statement tweeted by Bharat Biotech. In a statement posted on their Twitter handle, Bharat Biotech said that individual images and messages circulated on social media platforms had not disseminated by Bharat biotech. The image is a routine procedural blood draw for testing all production staff.

We now searched, if Dr.VK Srinivas is the Vice President of the Bharat biotech. During our research, we did not find any results for his name. We found that Dr. V Krishna Mohan is the Executive Director, and T Srinivas is the Chief Financial Officer of the management team of the pharmaceutical.

Conclusion

It is evident from our fact check that social media users circulated a false image claiming that the vice president of Bharat Biotech has undergone the first clinical trial of the coronavirus vaccine.

Tools Used

  • Google Search
  • Media Reports
  • Twitter Search

Result: False


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form

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Coronavirus

Aamir Khan’s Ghulam Co-Star Javed Hyder is not selling vegetables to survive, Misleading Claim goes Viral

The media reports claiming that Javed Hyder is selling vegetables to survive during ongoing Corona virus pandemic is false.

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Aamir Khan’s Ghulam Co Star Javed Hyder is not selling vegetables to survive, Misleading Claim goes Viral- Newschecker.in

Several media outlets shared a TikTok video of Aamir Khan’s Ghulam co-star Javed Hyder selling vegetables and claimed that he is doing so to survive during ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Here are some screenshots of the media outlets who reported the same.





Big Boss fame, Dolly Bindra also shared Javed Hyder’s video and tweeted, ‘He is an actor, and today he is selling vegetables…Javed Hyder’. In the viral TikTok video, Javed Hyder is selling vegetables while dancing. He is lip-syncing the famous song ‘Duniya Mein Rehna Hai Toh Kaam Kar Pyaare.’ You can see the video here.

We found that the same claim is viral on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.

The quint also published an article claiming the same. However; they updated their report later on with a disclaimer.

Fact Check

With the help of relevant keywords search on Google, we found several articles clearing the air on the viral claim. In his conversation with Mirror Online, Javed Hyder clarified that he is not a vegetable seller, and the video was just for TikTok.

No, I am not a vegetable vendor. I am an actor by profession even now. The entire selling vegetable video was just an act and I shot that TikTok video only to motivate my followers

Javed Hyder To Mirror Online.

Later, Hindustan times and News 18 India also published an article stating the same.

Conclusion

It is evident from our fact check that media reports claiming that Javed Hyder is selling vegetables to survive during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are false. Javed Hyder clarified that he is not selling vegetables for a living, whereas the viral video is just a musical one that he made to keep himself busy during the lockdown.

Sources

  • Google Search
  • Twitter Search

Result: False


(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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