Amid a massive surge of COVID-19 active cases in India, an image of a woman sitting on a road with oxygen cylinder has gone viral on social media.
Captioned, “This is where India is right now,” the image shows a woman using an oxygen cylinder seated on a road with vehicles parked around.
Twitter users have shared this claim in the past few days.
Another user shared this image along with a screenshot of NDTV quoting Union Minister Piyush Goyal who recently said, “We need to use medical oxygen rationally and stop its wastage. Patients should be given the required amount of oxygen only…”
A verified Facebook account of Trinamool Congress’ campaign “Didi Ke Bolo” shared the image in context with the caption, “Is this an example of self-reliant India? #ResignModi #BengalRejectsBJP”
Newschecker received this query on its Whatsapp verification number to check for authenticity.
The woman’s image with an oxygen cylinder goes viral on social media amid India’s second wave with active COVID-19 cases reaching 3.2 lakh cases in a single day, highest in the pandemic so far.
News of patients dying due to unavailability of medical oxygen in hospitals across some Indian states have surfaced in the past few weeks.
“Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava had pointed out earlier that shortness of breath has emerged as a major concern among Covid-19 patients during the second wave. This is why the need for medical oxygen has almost doubled,” reads an India Today report.
Fact Check / Verification
Using a combination of reverse image search and relevant keywords we found an April 2018 news bite by Times of India reporting on the incident of a woman with an oxygen cylinder on the road.
Reported from Agra, Uttar Pradesh, the news bite’s description read, “In yet another case of medical apathy, a man was allegedly made to wait for an ambulance at Uttar Pradesh’s Agra Medical College, while carrying oxygen cylinder attached to his ailing mother, on his shoulder…The mother-son duo waited for a long time for the ambulance, but the vehicle was a no-show. However, hospital authorities denied the allegation while assuring action in the matter.”
ANI carried the same image on 7 April 2018 titled, “Medical apathy! Man awaits ambulance while carrying mother’s oxygen cylinders on shoulder.”
While the COVID-19 situation remains tense in India, we found that image in context is not related to the ongoing pandemic. It is in fact from 2018 in Uttar Pradesh.
Result: Misplaced Context
Times of India: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3LWp_mBMNY