Dr. Usama Riaz, doctor who contracted coronavirus while treating patients had left a message for all of us before he died.
With the number of cases surging across the globe, governments are leaving no stones unturned to facilitate conditions for social distancing. However, with the rise in the number of cases, there is a surge in the number of rumor-mongering messages, videos, and graphics across various social media platforms. A video is doing rounds on the various social media platforms, especially on ‘YouTube’ claiming that Dr.Usama Riaz, a 26-year-old Pakistani doctor who passed away tackling COVID-19, has left a message for all of us.
We found that several verified Twitter handles, including that of Sonam Mahajan, shared the viral video on their respective handles.
This is Dr. Usama Riaz from Pakistan. He got infected with coronavirus while treating others. This was his last video cuz he succumbed yesterday.
Please listen to his last words, “Coronavirus mazaak nahin hai.” Your safety is in your hands & not Allah’s. pic.twitter.com/phFvkmKkiz
— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) March 24, 2020
We also found that several social media users shared the viral video with multiple claims. Among them, a Twitter user ‘Ranveer Aulakh’ shared the video claiming that Bhilwara’s coronavirus positive patient Dr. Niyaz Sahab has sent a message to everyone.
— RanveerAulakh33468 – 100%followback (@aulakh33468) March 24, 2020
With the help of relevant keywords search, we found several media reports about Dr.Usama Riaz. According to these reports, Dr. Usama Riaz contracted the novel coronavirus while treating pilgrims, who recently returned from Iraq and Iran, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
However, while fact-checking the claim, we found that the video doing rounds on social media and the picture of Dr. Usama Riaz in the articles published are not the same.
During our search, we found a tweet of Nimra, one of the relatives of the patient in the viral video. Rubbishing all the claims, Nimra said, the person in the video is her uncle, and his name is Mubhasir and not Dr. Usama Riaz, and that he’s fine now.
Stop spreading wrong information he’s my uncle and his name is Mubhasir not “Dr Usama Riaz” and Alhamdullilah now he’s absolutely fine. https://t.co/wGdAAFmJuJ
— Nimra (@smokyswaggin) March 24, 2020
With the help of Facebook search, we found the Facebook Profile of Mubhasir Ahmed, where he clarified he is not Dr. Usama Riaz as claimed on social media. Here is the post by Mubhasir Ahmed.
He also posted a live video on March 22, 2020, clarifying the matter.
As we said earlier, we had found that the video doing rounds on social media and the picture of Dr. Usama Riaz in the articles are not the same. Here below is the comparison between Mubhasir Ahmed and Dr.Usama Riaz.
It is evident from our fact check that video doing the rounds on the various social media platforms claiming that the person in the video is Dr.Usama Riaz is misleading. He is Mubhasir Ahmed, who has been living in the United Kingdom.
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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
If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.
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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