A video is being shared on various social media platforms and in WhatsApp groups in which a person allegedly infected with COVID-19 can be seen lying unconscious on the ground and shaking violently.
The COVID-19 symptoms, preventive measures and DOs, and DON’Ts are very well described by the WHO, Indian Health Ministry, and State Health Ministries, yet many, especially in rural areas, are not aware of the symptoms, preventive measure, DOs, and DON’Ts, why so? A possible reason behind this lack of awareness can be a gap in effective and simplified communication through proper channels. Illiteracy and poverty are not yet wholly eradicated and this is why many in rural areas still do not have television sets or know how to read newspapers, let alone using social media. Additionally, an insufficient number of healthcare workers can also be a possible reason behind the lack of awareness among residents of rural areas.
The youth shown in the viral video can be seen lying unconscious on the ground and shaking violently. As we began fact-checking this video, we first fragmented the video so we could perform a reverse image search, but we didn’t authenticate the information that links to the viral video. We then checked the symptoms of the COVID-19 as defined by the WHO and we found that the symptoms shown by the youth in the viral video do not match with that of those defined by the WHO. The WHO reports on the COVID-19 symptoms can be viewed here.
As one can rectify above, the WHO has nowhere mentioned symptoms look-alike seizures as symptoms of the COVID-19.
As we searched further, in one of the keyframes of the video, we found the name of the hospital where this incident took place. The name reads, “कोरोना वायरस आइसोलेशन वार्ड (Corona Virus Isolation Ward)”, “मातृ शिशु चिकित्सालय कानपुर (Matri Shishu Chikitsalay Kanpur)”.
We performed a Google search with the keyword “मातृ शिशु चिकित्सालय कानपुर” and we found a report published by Jagaran which states that the viral video was shot at Hallet Hospital of GSV Medical College in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur. As per the Jagaran report, the youth shown in the video is having a seizure, which is a symptom of Epilepsy, but it was falsely shared with the claim that the youth shown in the video is infected with the COVID-19. The hospital administration has lodged a complaint against those who shared this misinformation. The Jagaran report can be found here.
As the aforementioned Jagaran report states, the incident happened in Kanpur. We further checked the Twitter handle of Kanpur Nagar Police and found a reply by the handle to a Twitter user who shared the same viral video and asked for more details. The tweet made by the police can be seen below.
The tweet made by Kanpur Nagar police contains the statement of Dr. Aarti Dave Lalchandani, who is the Principal of GSV Medical College. Notably, as mentioned-above, Hallet Hospital is a part of the premise of GSV Medical College, Kanpur. Dr. Dave, while clarifying the issue, says, “Today a video went viral on social media in which a patient of Epilepsy can be seen lying on the ground and shaking. It is to clarify that in case of an Epilepsy attack, a patient is only touched when the attack is over, and it is visible in the video that a trolly boy along with the trolly is standing near the patient. It is to clarify further that the symptoms of Epilepsy shown in the concerned youth are hysterical. Also, it is not in accordance with the law to record a video before the corona ward and to circulate the same with a misleading claim. It demoralizes the moral of our doctors and the government as well. A complaint has been lodged against those who spread rumors by circulating the video.”
As it is evident from the report published by news outlet Jagaran and moreover, the testimony of Dr. Dave that the person shown in the video is not affected with the COVID-19, it can be concluded that the video is being shared with a ‘Misleading’ claim.
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