An image we received on our Whatsapp verification number claims “Qatar cancelled all Air India Flights Under Vande Bharat Mission.” See the image below.
The above image also claims that earlier Air India got exemptions from their airport charges on account of Vande Bharat being an evacuation mission. Later, on realising that passengers paid 700 riyals for these tickets, they cancelled all the flights.
We found similar messages being circulated on Facebook and Twitter, examples below.
You can view another example here.
Through a keyword search we came across a clarification on the official Twitter page of the Embassy of India Doha, Qatar. It denied the rumour by stating that a flight was cancelled due to technical reasons. And is being rescheduled for 12 May.
A subsequent tweet on 11 May by the Embassy of India, Doha expressed that a few media channels were making a baseless claim about flight IX-374 from Doha to Thiruvananthapuram was cancelled because of differences over landing and handling charges. None of it is true.
We found the claim in the image which states that Qatar cancelled all Air India flights under Vande Bharat Mission to be false.
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(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)
Photograph Taken in 1985 Shared on Social Media in the Backdrop of COVID-19 Pandemic
A photograph is being widely shared on social media, which shows a woman holding a child in her hands, claiming that this picture was taken before the mother succumbed to the novel coronavirus in Italy.
A Facebook user shared a photograph of a woman holding a child her in her hands claiming that this picture was taken before the mother succumbed to the novel coronavirus in Italy.
The caption of the viral image, when translated to English, reads, ‘Such a disheartening incident. Female Corona patient in Italy was in the third stage and her 18-month-old child was crying a lot. The patient expressed her last wish that she wanted to hug her child once. The doctors covered her entire body, and as she holds the child, the child stopped crying, but the mother succumbed to the coronavirus.’
We found that the photograph was being shared on Facebook and Twitter with identical claims.
Several readers sent the viral pictures to Newschecker’s WhatsApp helpline number for verification.
With the help of reverse image search, we found the same image in Magnum Photos. The image viral on social media was clicked in 1985 at a cancer treatment centre in Seattle, USA by photojournalist Burt Glinn, before the baby’s bone marrow transplant and has no connection with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The caption of the image reads, “USA, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, 1985. Fred Hutchinson CancerCenter- Infant inside Laminar AirFlow Room protection from infection. The child has been irradiated prior to marrow transplant.”
We also found that the original photograph clicked by Burt Glinn is vertical, and one can see the mother in a standing position with her hands and face inserted into the laminar airflow box, whereas the image viral on social media is in a horizontal position. You can see the comparison here:
It is clear from our fact check that the photograph viral on social media, which shows a woman holding a child in her hands, is neither from Italy nor does it has any connection with coronavirus pandemic. The image was taken in 1985 at a cancer treatment center in Seattle, USA, by photojournalist Burt Glinn before the baby’s bone marrow transplant.
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COVID-19 Patients Are Not Being Segregated On The Basis Of Religion; Media Outlets Falsely Report
Since the government has denied the allegations of segregation of COVID-19 patients on the basis of religion and the doctor whom the outlets claim to have spoken, alleges
News outlets such as The Hindu, The New Indian Express, and others claimed that the COVID-19 patients in Gujarat are being segregated on the basis of religion at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. The reports published by media outlets were further amplified by several verified and prominent Twitter handles.
As it is rightly said, the world is fighting a pandemic and an ‘Infodemic’, Indian media is justifying the statement in its truest sense. In the past few days, cases of misreporting by media outlets have seen a spike, besides a strict warning by the Supreme Court. Indian media was recently criticized for the religious profiling of COVID-19 cases in India but even that could not stop the media from reporting COVID-19 cases on the basis of the religion.
The latest outlet to join the communal cacophony of Indian media is ‘The Hindu’ which is otherwise known for its quality journalism. The paper tried to undo the damage though by removing the ‘Hindu/Muslim’ words from its report after realizing they had misreported on the matter.
The Hindu on 15th April carried a report titled ‘COVID-19 patients segregated on the basis of religion at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, according to reports’. The report carried by ‘The Hindu’ is based on the alleged segregation of COVID-19 patients at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. The report was later updated and certain changes were made to the report.
Here’s what was in the initial report and what all changes were made to the report.
Note: ‘Red’ color stands for words removed in the updated report and ‘Green’ color for words added.
An archived version of the first updates report can be found here.
An archived version of the updated report can be found here.
Interestingly, the aforementioned ‘The Hindu’ report was updated within a few minutes after publishing. The original version of the above-mentioned report is not available on the web and it is nowhere specified in the report what was updated and when.
Another news outlet The Indian Express, which has a history of publishing reports through unverified sources, made the same claim as that by ‘The Hindu’.
An archived version of the first updated version of The Indian Express report can be found here.
The latest version of The Indian Express report can be found here.
The Indian Express in its report claims to have spoken to the Medical Superintendent of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital namely ‘Dr. Gunvant H Rathod’. The report further claims that Dr. Rathod told the publication, “Generally, there are separate wards for male and female patients. But here, we have made separate wards for Hindu and Muslim patients. (On being asked about the reason Dr. Rathod said) It is a decision of the government and you can ask them.”
The aforementioned report further claims that there are almost 150 COVID patients in the hospital, out of which, at least 40 belong to the Muslim community.
The report published by The Indian Express was further amplified by many prominent journalists and politicians such as Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, TMC MP Mohua Mitra, India Today Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and his journalist wife Sagarika Ghosh, Rana Ayyub, Kavita Krishnan, Prashant Bhushan, Sanjay Singh, Saba Naqvi, Swati Chaturvedi, Shama Mohamed, Alfons Lopez Tena, moneycontrol, Smitha Nair, Nirjhari Sinha, National Herald, Mitali Saran, Ali, Real Report, Ashok Swain, Man Aman Singh Chhina, Tarek Fatah, Jignesh Mevani, Ajit Anjum, Isaac Chotiner, Swaraj India, Khaled Beydoun, Lt Gen H S Panag (Retired), Seema Chishti, Rakesh Sharma, GK Zhimomi, Muzamil Jaleel, Kawalpreet Kaur, Karuna Nundy, Pooja Pillai, Snehesh Alex Philip, Avinash Dutt, Spandan Srivastava, Vimlendu Jha, Saif Ullah Khan, Omar R Quraishi, Niraj Bhatia, Bumbai Ki Rani, Paranjoy Guha Thakurata, Nishita Jha, Zafar Sareshwala, Suresh Mathew, Parmesh Shahani, Faraz Arif Ansari, Dushyant, Liz Mathew, Aamer Javeed and Debasish Roy.
We searched the social media accounts of the concerned hospital and we found the statement of the doctor, The Indian Express claims to have spoken to, has alleged that the outlet has misquoted him.
The statement of the doctor can be viewed below.
When we searched further, we found a tweet by the official Twitter handle of The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom where the body has condemned the segregation of the patients on the basis of religion.
Replying to the aforementioned tweet, Anurag Srivastava who is the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, India, has suggested that the USCIRF ‘stop adding religious color to India’s national goal of fighting the COVID 19 pandemic.’
Additionally, we found a tweet made by the Gujarat arm of Press Information Bureau which has denied the allegations levied against the concerned hospital.
Similarly, in a tweet, the Department of Information in Gujarat,, rubbished the claims of segregation of COVID-19 patients on the basis of religion.
The Health & Family Welfare Department of the Gujarat Government has also clarified the issue in a Twitter thread.
Since the government has denied the allegations of segregation of COVID-19 patients on the basis of religion and the doctor whom the outlets claim to have spoken, alleges to be misquoted, here’s a list of questions that make the report carried by the two news outlets look suspicious.
- If Dr. Rathod said that the segregation is taking place on the orders issued by the government, did the outlets try to ask for a copy of the order? If yes, did they get the same? If yes, why was the copy of the order not mentioned in the report?
- The Indian Express claims to have spoken to Dr. Rathod and some of the patients as well, is there a video/audio proof for the same? If yes, why is the same not mentioned in any of the updated versions of the report? Since the Government has denied the acknowledgment of any segregation on the basis of religion, the best practice would be to produce the proofs of the conversations which according to the outlet took place inside the hospital.
- The Indian Express claims to have spoken to the district magistrate of Ahmedabad and the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat and both have categorically denied the acknowledgment of any such segregation. Now, since the outlet has not been able to produce a copy of the order, how did the outlet reach the conclusion that segregation has taken place based on an order issued by the government?
- In the report published by ‘The Hindu’, the outlet has mentioned that the said information was provided by a special correspondent, why did the outlet not ask for the proof of testimony of the patients or the statement made by the ‘anonymous doctor’ it has mentioned in the report?
Basis the statement of Dr. Rathod of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital and a clear denial of several government bodies, we reached the conclusion that the two outlets mentioned above, published a ‘False’ report which was later amplified by several verified Twitter handles. Also it is noteworthy that despite being called out by the government, both ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Indian Express’, in spite of adding proofs to their respective reports, have merely updated the reports by adding the government’s denial.
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A Mock Drill Video From Hajipur Jail Shared With False Claim, Read To Know More
As we watch the viral video, from the spoken of those in the video, we deciphered that the video was shot somewhere in the Hindi heartland – particularly Eastern UP, Bihar or Jharkhand.
A video is doing the rounds on social media which claims that policemen are now being tested positive for the COVID-19. The visuals of the video show a cop entering an unknown premise and lying on the ground, coughing and sneezing, and then another cop arrives and informs the doctor of the same using the wireless in his hand. Other policemen appear then and the patient cop is taken to the doctor after being put in an ambulance.
As we watch the viral video, from the spoken of those in the video, we deciphered that the video was shot somewhere in the Hindi heartland – particularly Eastern UP, Bihar or Jharkhand. We also found that at 2 minutes 41 seconds, the address is written on a board outside the hospital, reads, “Unclear text…… हाजीपुर, वैशाली (Hajipur, Vaishali)”.
Furthermore, at 5 minutes 29 seconds, the text on the main gate reads, “मंडल कारा, हाजीपुर, वैशाली (Mandal Kara, Hajipur, Vaishali).
We then fragment the video and using the Google reverse image search option, we found that the video has been uploaded on YouTube by multiple publishers with different and varying claims.
While some publishers claim that the video is a mock drill by the local police, on the other hand, some publishers claim that the cop shown in the video has actually been tested positive for COVID-19. The same can be viewed here.
Using the keywords suggesting that the video is of a mock drill, we performed a Google search but we did not find much authentic information to corroborate. Some of the findings can be viewed below.
Lacking authentic information, we called the Superintendent of Police, Hajipur, Mr. Gaurav Mangla, who told us that the video shows a mock drill and that no jawan has been tested positive in Mandal Kara, Hajipur. However, when asked about more details, he said, “Since Mandal Kara doesn’t come under my jurisdiction, it is advised to contact the jail administration of Mandal Kara for more information.”
We then contacted the jail officials who informed us that the viral video is of a mock drill conducted by Mandal Kara, Hajipur, and is being shared with ‘Misleading’ claims. He also informed us that every jail administration is conducting such mock drills to check the preparations for the COVID-19. “Mock drills are being practiced in almost every jail in Bihar to check the preparations for the fight against the COVID-19. Some social media users are sharing the video of a mock drill with the claim that a cop was tested positive for the COVID-19, this is completely false.”
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