Hindi Content Lead of Aam Aadmi Party’s social media team Sanjay Raghav took a jibe on Delhi BJP chief and MP Manoj Tiwari by sharing a video in which Tiwari can be seen distributing masks and sanitizers. Sanjay claimed that the BJP Chief is creating awareness about lockdown by violating it himself.
An archived version of his tweet can be viewed here.
As per recent updates made by the Indian Health Ministry on April 4, 18:00 PM, there are a total 2784 active coronavirus cases in India. The country is seeing a spike in numbers in the aftermath of the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz, which has resulted in the quarantine of as many as 9,000 people. Amid the worsening situation in India, one thing that hasn’t changed is the political accusations. For instance, the political turmoil in the national capital is as seasoned as it could be, the opposition is accusing the CM of not dealing with the COVID-19 properly and the CM, as usual, accusing the Centre of not allocating adequate funds to fight the pandemic. Adding to the ongoing turmoil, Aam Aadmi Party member Sanjay Raghav accused the state BJP chief Manoj Tiwari of violating the lockdown and not practicing the social distancing.
Indian politicians such as Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Reddy, Hindu Mahasabha leader Swami Chakrapani and Samajwadi Praty leader Ramakant Yadav have previously made misleading claims pertaining to the COVID-19 outbreak in India. Legislator Somnath Bharti, of the same party as Raghav, also shared a misleading claim about Azim Premji donating Rs 50,000 crore to support India’s fight against COVID-19. However, when corrected by newschecker and several social media users, he posted a clarification.
As we began fact-checking the claim made by AAP member Sanjay Raghav, we fragmented the video in order to know the date and the location of the video, but we didn’t find any authentic information to corroborate. We then searched YouTube with the keyword “Manoj Tiwari distributes masks,” and we found a video uploaded by the official channel of The Tribune, which matches the description of that of the claim.
The Tribune video was uploaded on March 17, 2020, hence we found that the video was published at least five days before the lockdown was first ordered by the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
Using the Twitter advanced search feature, we further checked if the same video was shared by social media users or BJP’s Delhi unit. We found that a tweet made by the Twitter handle managed by Manoj Tiwari’s office shared the same video on March 17.
We also found a tweet made by the official Twitter handle of the BJP’s Delhi unit, which contains pictures of the same event, as shown in the claim.
Now, we tried to collect more information on when the lockdown was announced and even before lockdown what were the restrictions on gathering as announced by the Delhi government. During our search, we found an order dated 22.03.2020, which notifies of the lockdown in the national capital from March 23, 2020, to March 31, 2020. The same can be found here. We also found two notices released by the Delhi Government, first notice dated March 13 prohibits gatherings beyond 200 people; second notice dated March 16 prohibits the gathering beyond 50 people. However, the two notices consequently released on March 13 and March 16 do not carry any mention of the lockdown.
We also found a tweet by Neelkant Bakshi, who is the Head Media Relations & Co-Incharge Media, Social Media & IT of the BJP’s Delhi unit in which he has called out Sanjay Raghav for spreading fake news.
Hence it is imperative from the findings mentioned above that the claim made by AAP member Sanjay Raghav is misleading and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari did not violate the lockdown ordered by the Delhi Government.
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Result: Misleading/Misplaced Context
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Claim On Pune’s Steam Bar Treating or Preventing COVID-19 Is False
Steam inhalation as a treatment or preventive measure of COVID-19 is not listed by the World Health Organisation.
Other social media users have shared this claim as well.
Fact Check/ Verification
Different states in India continue to witness a rise in COVID-19 cases. Maharashtra, the epicentre of coronavirus in India has 2,75,404 active cases as of 8am on 25 September. It’s followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh which have 95,568, 69,353 and 61,300 active cases respectively.
At a time like this, the claim on Pune’s steam bar with inhalers has been shared by many social media users in the past few days.
Steam inhalation can thin mucus and help it drain from the nose when experiencing nasal congestion. “Controlled studies show that these remedies do not kill viruses in the respiratory tract. Besides, there are no studies testing the effect of these remedies on preventing infection by the novel coronavirus,” state the voluntary group of scientists, Indian Scientists’ Response to CoViD-19, in their Hoaxbusters section.
On the other hand, a 2015 study published by the Spanish Pediatrics Association takes note of the burns or scalds that can be caused due to hot water or steam. “Steam inhalation therapy (SIT), which has been used traditionally and is still employed today to treat mild respiratory tract infections despite the lack of evidence to support its effectiveness, can also cause burns indirectly through scalding.”
Also steam inhalation as a treatment or preventive measure of COVID-19 is not listed by the World Health Organisation.
“While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease,” notes the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
On 23 September, Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Dr FaheemYounus, responded to the initial claim saying, “ Let’s not turn fear into business. This is completely useless.”
Note: We were unable to locate the exact steam bar from the claim.
The recent claim which states that a steam bar with inhalers treats or prevents COVID-19 in Pune is false. Currently, there is no known medicine or treatment that can cure COVID-19.
Indian Scientists’ Response to CoViD-19: https://indscicov.in/for-public/busting-hoaxes/
A study by Spanish Pediatrics Association: https://www.analesdepediatria.org/en-severe-burns-related-steam-inhalation-articulo-S2341287914001343
World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public\
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/
Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Dr FaheemYounus: https://twitter.com/FaheemYounus/status/1308820077324701696?s=20
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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.
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:
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.
The social media post claiming that the Chinese aren’t taking any medicine or vaccine for coronavirus and other included details are false.
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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.
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.”
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.
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.
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