India has entered the third stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in which the community transmission takes place.
News and fact-checking outlet The Quint published a report in which they claim to have interviewed Dr. Girdhar Gyani, Director General, Association of Healthcare Providers (India). The Quint claims that Dr. Gyani in an interview with the outlet has claimed that India has entered the third stage which is community transmission and feared that the pandemic can spread fast in the community resulting in more positive cases and a rise in the mortality rate in India.
“India has entered stage 3, which is community transmission, it is the beginning of this stage.” This was the revelation made by Dr Girdhar Gyani, the convenor of the Task Force for COVID-19 Hospitals, in an interview to the to The Quint.
What is wrong with the report?
The sensational report published by The Quint was updated and the updates made are crucial enough to change the course of entire rhetoric made by the outlet.
There are two versions of the article: the first version was archived at 15:16:15 UTC on March 27, 2020 and the other is archived at 19:26:37 UTC on March 27, 2020. However, it is introduced in the story that an update was made but details of the update are not mentioned anywhere in the report.
Now, we compared the two versions of the aforementioned report and we found a major change was made to the report. We are listing the two major updates below which can be well rectified by clicking on the two archived links of the two versions of the questioned report. However, a screenshot of the same is produced below.
- Initially the report was claimed to be based on a revelation made by Dr. Girdhar Gyani which was later updated to be based on the claims made by Dr. Girdhar Gyani.
- The Quint, in the first updated version of the report, quoted Dr. Girdhar Gyani as saying, “India has entered stage 3, which is community transmission, it is the beginning of this stage.” which was later updated to “We are calling it Stage 3. Officially, we may not call it. It is the beginning of the 3rd stage.” in the latest version of the same report.
A Comparison of the two versions reveals heavy edits were made
The Quint doesn’t mention the edits made to the report; hides major edits
Interestingly, The Quint makes one more edit to the said report and mentions the updates made to the same. While mentioning the edits, The Quint hides the major edits made to the report. The Quint while mentioning the updates made to the report, writes, “This article has been updated to include the link to the audio interview with Dr. Girdhar Gyani.” While what is clearly visible from the various versions of the article mentioned in our fact-check above is there are several major edits made to the report ever since it was first published.
The Quint also lies about the changes made to the headline of the report. For instance, the original headline “‘India Now in Stage 3’: Doctor from COVID-19 Hospitals Task Force” was later changed to “India May be in Stage 3: COVID-19 Hospital Task Force Convener”.
The Quint doesn’t just hide the said two edits made to the report but also hides the insertion of Dr. Gyani’s qualifications in the latest version which was not there in the first updated version.
After noticing the heavy update in the report published by The Quint, we searched Google for more information on the issue and we found a report published by Livemint which quotes the same Dr. Girdhar Gyani to report that India has not entered the third stage. An excerpt from the Livemint report where the outlet has quoted Dr. Gyan, reads, ““When cases with no travel history or direct contact to diagnosed cases start coming in large numbers, then we take it as a beginning of community spread. Though in that sense, we are not in Stage 3, but it would be better that we do our preparations as if we are in phase-3. In case of community rise, numbers start rising exponentially,” said Dr. Girdhar Gyani, Director General, Association of Healthcare Providers.”
The preparations have already begun in Delhi, where government has started scaling up its health infrastructure .Stage 3 is community transmission, when the source of infection is not known for majority of the infected population and new positive cases can no longer be traced to diagnosed cases
Now, as we searched for more information on the issue, we found a tweet made by Editor, live services, news agency ANI namely Ishaan Prakash in which Prakash claims that ANI’s health reporter has reached out to Dr. Girdhar Gyani and Dr. Gyani says that the headline blown out of proportion. Prakash further quotes Dr. Gyani as saying, “Luckily till today increase in No. of cases is pure arithmetic while in community spread it goes geometrically or exponentially.”
ANI’s health reporter @journo_priyanka reached out to Dr Girdhar Gyani who says this headline was blown out of proportion. Dr Girdhar clarified, “luckily till today increase in No. of cases is pure arithmetic while in community spread its goes geometrically or exponentially” https://t.co/bDkRbvnmGP
— ishaan prakash (@ishaan_ANI) March 27, 2020
We additionally searched the official website of the ICMR but we didn’t find any mention of Dr. Girdhar Gyani there.
As per Dr. Girdhar Gyani’s LinkedIn profile, he is the Director-General at the Association of Healthcare Providers (India). When we checked the Twitter handle of the Association of Healthcare Providers (India), we found a tweet where the organization has called out The Quint for spreading misinformation.
— Association of Healthcare Providers (India) – AHPI (@ahpi_india) March 27, 2020
We also found a Facebook post made by the said organization where the organization has accused the outlet of misquoting and misinterpreting Dr. Girdhar Gyani.
When we searched further, we found a tweet made by the PIB Fact-Check handle which quotes the tweet made by the AHPI to debunk the ‘Misleading’ report published by The Quint.
#PIBFactcheck : An online news portal has carried an interview with DG, AHPI claiming that India is in Stage 3 i.e. community transmission stage of #COVID2019india . It is clarified that this is misleading and has been denied by the concerned person himself https://t.co/O0ZftC0f2F
— PIB India 🇮🇳 #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) March 28, 2020
Furthermore, the fact-checking arm of the PIB has posted Dr. Gyani’s clarification on the issue which he made while talking to the Indian public broadcaster Doordarshan.
Director General of the Private Hospital Association Dr Girdhar Gyani clarifies that India has not entered stage 3 of the #Covid19 infection
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 28, 2020
Dr. Gyani while speaking to Doordarshan clarifies that India has not entered the third stage and it can be called community transmission only when the number of COVID-19 positive cases increase in a geometric sequence and as of now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India are increasing in an arithmetic sequence only hence it can not be said that India has entered the third stage of COVID-19 outbreak.
— DD News (@DDNewslive) March 28, 2020
It is evident in our fact-check report that The Quint carried out a ‘Misleading’ report. It is imperative from various updates in the report published by The Quint that Dr. Girdhar Gyani’s statement was misquoted or falsely reported by the outlet. Hence it can be concluded that India has not yet reached the third stage of the COVID-19 outbreak and the report published by fact-checking and news outlet The Quint is ‘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)
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.
- Google advanced search
- Twitter advanced search
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.
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.
- Google Search
- Media Reports
- Twitter Search
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