Saturday, October 23, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021
HomeFact checkViralMessage Claiming Bangalore’s Variar Bakery Employee To Be COVID-19 Positive Is Fake

Message Claiming Bangalore’s Variar Bakery Employee To Be COVID-19 Positive Is Fake

A Whatsapp message claiming Bangalore’s Variar Bakery employee testing positive for COVID-19 has been widely circulating since last month. The message also lists ten places in the city, most of them eateries, that are allegedly dangerous due to the spread of coronavirus. Below is a screenshot of the viral message. 

Viral Whatsapp message on Bangalore's Variar Bakery employee testing positive
Viral Whatsapp message on Bangalore’s Variar Bakery employee testing positive

The famous Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR), Vidyarthi Bhavan, Brahmin’s Hotel, and Karnataka Bhel House are a few eating joints included in the above list. The message concludes asking users to avoid the listed places for their own safety.   

Fact Check/ Verification 

The longtime serving Variar Bakery, is an old traditional bakery with two outlets in Bangalore. One is located in Rajajinagar 2nd block and the other in 5th block, Rajajinagar. 

Since the bakery is a primary source in this claim, we reached out to them to verify this information. They clarified to us on call that none of their employees has tested positive for COVID-19 in either of the two locations, and that the rumour in context is fake. 

A Facebook post on Variar Bakery’s official account also states that the viral Whatsapp message claiming their employees to be COVID-19 positive is fake. They claim that this “malicious news propagated by our competitor.”

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1155822541462865&id=327788337599627

Further through relevant keywords search on Google, we came across the following news articles that confirm the contents of this message to be false.  

A June news article by Bangalore Mirror states that the Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association (BBHA) filed a complaint with the “police seeking action against spreading of fake news about prominent bakeries and restaurants in the city.” 

Bangalore Mirror's story on iconic restaurants in Bangalore being the target of fake news.
Bangalore Mirror’s story on iconic restaurants in Bangalore being the target of fake news

Another news story in June by Economic Times reports on this fake Whatsapp message. 

The Economic Times story on fake news related to restaurants in Bangalore
The Economic Times story on fake news related to restaurants in Bangalore

The above news reports include excerpts from a BBHA press note released on 26 June, 2020, which states that “This is a malicious propaganda by vested interests and perverted minds with an intention to malign the reputation of the prominent eating joints.”

We reached out to the Secretary of BBHA, Subramanya Holla S, who shared the press note with us and confirmed the Whatsapp message in context to be fake. 

Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association June 26 Press Note
Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association June 26 Press Note

Conclusion

The Whatsapp message claiming an employee of Bangalore’s Variar Bakery to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus is fake.  The remainder of the message which lists ten places to avoid due to the spread of COVID-19 is also false. Confirmation from Variar bakery, BBHA’s secretary and the above news reports confirm the same.

Result: False 

Our Sources

Variar Bakery’s Facebook page

Bangalore Mirror: https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/fake-news-leaves-bad-taste-in-the-mouth-of-citys-iconic-restaurants/articleshow/76653870.cms

Economic Times: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/covid-19-mischief-hoteliers-move-police/articleshow/76648151.cms?from=mdr

Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association press note


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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