Fake News Detective

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A Nigerian In Germany Has Developed A COVID-19 Herbal Cure?

Claim:

A viral WhatsApp forward with the title, “Good News: Nigerian Finally Gets Coronavirus Herbal Cure” claims that a herbal cure for COVID-19 has been discovered by a Nigerian man living in Germany using a mixture of pineapple, lime, and ginger.

Verification:

The claim does not have a direct source for it to be considered genuine because the broadcast message has neither stated the name of the purported Nigerian man who discovered the cure nor any certification of the cure by any major medical institution. Also, the WHO has not named any cure for COVD-19 and potential cures are still undergoing trial.

Source: WHO

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WHO Claimed That Asymptomatic Patients Do Not Spread Covid-19?

Claim:

A video clip of a WHO official saying that asymptomatic Covid-19 patients do not need to isolate at a press conference is circulating on social media. The claim alleges that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has taken a ‘complete U-turn’ that asymptomatic Covid-19 patients needn’t be isolated or quarantined as they cannot transmit the virus. 

Verification:

The viral clip is part of a press briefing held by WHO on June 9. In this video, the WHO official did not say that asymptomatic patients cannot spread coronavirus but that the transmission is “very rare”. Furthermore, the next day, WHO also gave clarity on its statement and stated that more research is needed to establish the extent of asymptomatic transmission.

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Nanavati Hospital Recommends Lemon & Rurmeric For COVID Treatment?

Claim:

A viral WhatsApp forward claims that “COVID experts” at Nanavati Hospital have recommended lemon-infused warm water with ginger and jaggery mixed with ghee, hot milk with turmeric, and steam for the treatment of coronavirus positive patients. A similar message was circulating on Twitter as well.

Verification:

Nanavati Hospital refuted the claim in its official twitter handle by replying to several users with a clarification that none of its doctors has recommended the aforestated recipes as treatment.

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Bharat Biotech VP, Taking The First Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine COVAXIN Developed By His Team?

Claim:

An image of a woman in medical gear thrusting a syringe in man’s veins is circulating on various social media platforms. The post claimed that Dr. V. K.Srinivas, Vice President, Bharat Biotech, took the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine named ‘COVAXIN’ jointly developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Bharat Biotech India Ltd (BBIL). 

Verification:

Bharat Biotech refuted the claims in its official twitter handle by posting a picture that clearly stated that certain images and messages being circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms were not disseminated by Bharat Biotech. It also stated that the image circulated was a routine blood draw procedure for testing all production staff.

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ICMR Study Plots COVID-19 Peak Around Mid-November?

Claim:

A piece of a newspaper claims that according to the ICMR study, the peak stage of COVID-19 pandemic in India has been delayed by the eight-week lockdown and it might now arrive around mid-November during which there could be a paucity of isolation and ICU beds, and ventilators.

Verification:

ICMR, on Twitter, officially disowned the mendacious claim as ‘misleading’. It also stated, “The news reports attributing this study to ICMR are misleading. This refers to a non-peer-reviewed modeling, not carried out by ICMR, and does not reflect the official position of ICMR.”

Source: ICMR

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Complete lockdown in Delhi from June 18?

Claim:

A viral message claiming, “Home Ministry sources confirm, Delhi NCR will be under complete lockdown from 18th June for 4 weeks” is being around social media for quite some time now. It also added, the president rule will appertain on Delhi, there will be very strict lockdown and requested people to get their essential requirements before the lockdown starts.

Verification:

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) denied this claim and said there is no such plan under consideration.

Source: PIB

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Prolonged Use Of Face Masks Causes O2 Deficiency or CO2 Intoxication?

Claim:

A message is being widely circulated stating the side effects of wearing a mask for a prolonged time. The message claims that wearing a mask for a longer period may reduce oxygen in the blood causing hypoxia due to which there might be oxygen deficiency in the brain, ultimately leading to death. It also added the excessive inhalation of carbon dioxide might be possible, causing hypercapnia.

Verification:

According to the World Health Organization(WHO), there is no evidence that proves that the prolonged use of medical mask when properly worn, can cause hypoxia or hypercapnia.

Source: WHO

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Did Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi Issue COVID-19 Prescription?

Claim:

A fallacious prescription of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is being disseminated widely. The prescription is written on the letterhead of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s senior consultant Dr. Raj Kamal Agarwal, with a claim that the doctor has recommended home isolation for the COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms. Also, he advised the patients to take zing, hydroxychloroquine, crocin, cetirizine, and vitamin C tablets.

Verification:

Sir Ganga Ram hospital has officially refuted the image of the prescription in the twitter handle. Also, the hospital has stated that the doctor’s signature has been forged, and the prescription pad of Dr. Agarwal is misused.

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Thyrocare Lab In Thane Sealed For Giving False COVID Positive Reports?

Claim:

A message is being circulated on WhatsApp and Facebook claiming that Thyrocare lab, Thane has been sealed by the government for giving false COVID positive reports to people. Also, the message claimed that the lab has a nexus with a private hospital to which they send the person after giving the fake COVID positive report that charges 3 lakh to the patients.

Verification:

Thyrocare officially denied the allegations made on them in their twitter handle stating that they condemn the false statement that is taking around social media without checking the substance and origin of the information. 

Source: Thyrocare

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Delhi Public School Selling Face Masks For Rs. 400 Each?

Claim:

A viral message on different social media claims that Delhi Public School is concerned with doing business even in such an adverse situation. The message was attached with a picture of the mask with DPS written over it along with the school logo with a caption stating that every student needs to buy the mask for Rs.400 each mandatorily.

Verification:

The different branches of DPS started shedding light on this issue and called out the claim officially on their Facebook page. They denied the fraudulent charges made on them and clarified the parents that they don’t appreciate such deceitful happenings and the institution is not involved in the manufacturing or selling of masks.

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Continuous Use Of Hand Sanitizers Causes Cancer?

Claim:

An erroneous piece of a newspaper is going around different social media platforms about the use of hand sanitizer. According to that, the continuous use of hand sanitizer for 50-60 days can cause cancer and other harmful skin diseases.

Verification:

AIRNews Hindi in their twitter handle shared the views of Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS New Delhi saying that there is no harm in using hand sanitizers consisting of 70% alcohol. He also told on how it vaporizes after some time. But, during the availability of water, try to use soap and water for washing your hands, the doctor added further

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COVID-19 Is Caused By A Bacterium, Not Virus And Can Be Treated With Aspirin?

Claim:

A message is being widely circulated in social media claiming that finally the cure of COVID-19 is found in Italy. It also claims that COVID-19 is not caused by a virus as we were led to believe, but by a bacterium amplified by 5g electromagnetic radiation which also produces inflammation and hypoxia. It clots blood causing thrombosis which can be cured by taking 100 mg Aspirin, Apronax (A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), or paracetamol that fights inflammation and pain, lowers fever and thins the blood.

Verification:

PIB fact check has called out the claim in their twitter handle stating that COVID-19 is caused by a virus and not a bacterium and also no medicinal cure is found for COVID-19 to date.

Source: PIB

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Maharashtra Issued New Lockdown Guidelines With Various Relaxations?

Claim:

A recent viral news circulating across various social media platforms stating that the Government of Maharashtra has issued new lockdown guidelines with various relaxations. These guidelines included various rules and regulations that shops, public spaces, and salons/beauty parlors should follow from May 29.

Verification:

Maharashtra Directorate General of Information and Public Relations (DGIPR) addressed this claim in the twitter handle citing that “It is observed that these notifications are in circulation in social media. The State Govt. clarifies that these notifications are not issued by the Govt. of Maharashtra.”

Source: DGIPR

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MHA Permits All States To Open Schools During Lockdown?

Claim:

When India is in lockdown, some news channels have been making headlines that the Ministry of Home Affairs has permitted all the states to open schools.

Verification:

MHA has clearly stated in its guidelines for Lockdown 4.0 that all the educational institutions will be closed and online distance learning should be encouraged. Also, the spokesperson of MHA addressed this in their official twitter handle citing that “No such decision has been taken by MHA”.

Source: MHA

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Nicotine A Solution To COVID-19?

Claim:

A recent news item viral on social media platforms claims that nicotine may have a hand in prevention of COVID-19. The statement furthered by a research study conducted in Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris that revealed the number of chain smokers to be truncated among those requiring medical assistance for the pandemic.

Verification:

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has clearly testified that intake of tobacco is a primary reason why smokers are at more risk of coming in contact with the virus than non-smokers. Therefore, since tobacco products contain nicotine, the above statement can be dismissed as false.

Source: WHO

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Mumbai Lady Constable Suffering From COVID-19?

Claim:

A video took around the surface of various social media platforms claiming that the woman constable of Mumbai police was suffering from corona and has contracted the virus. In that short video, the woman constable could be seen leaning on her scooter in the middle of the road near RK Hotel grant road Mumbai, facing some breathing issues, while other police officials were maintaining a distance with her and appeared to be wary.

Verification:

The  Mumbai police had called out the claim in their twitter account stating that the video which is being circulated is an old video and has no relation with COVID-19. They also added that the lady corona warrior is fit and has never tested positive for coronavirus.

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Migrant Woman Carrying Infant Between Train Bogies?

Claim:

A recent viral video circulating across social media platforms claims that a woman, carrying an infant, has travelled from one part of the country to another between train bogies owing to the nationwide lockdown for COVID-19.

Verification:

However, on thorough background check, it has been revealed that the claim video contains footages from a video uploaded three years back titled ‘Refugee mother and child’ portraying the plight of Bangladeshi refugees. The claim can therefore be dismissed as a rumour.

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Is Skin Rashes A Symptom of COVID-19?

Claim:

A recent news item being circulated across social media platforms claim that many of the COVID-19 positive patients are diagnosed with skin rashes, often known to be “Covid toes”.

The claim has been furthered by a sizeable amount of patients showing such rashes and anomalies on the skin in the passing days.

Verification:

According to the guidelines presented by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is unlikely that a COVID-19 patient will develop rashes on their skin; however, it still remains a possibility. Taking all such observations into account, it can be said that rashes on the skin is a possible symptom of the novel coronavirus.

Source: WHO

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Tablighi FIR: Police probe indicates Saad audio clip was doctored

Claim:

An article by a renowned news daily reported that the Tablighi Jamaat members were advised by Maulana Saad Kandhalvi to not follow social distancing and lockdown norms, and that the Delhi Police had substantial evidences against them in the form of an audio clip.

Verification:

This claim has been dismissed outright by the Delhi Police, who took to their Twitter handle to address this issue; citing the audio clip to be based on ‘unverified sources’.

Source: Delhi Police

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Air India Flouting Social Distancing Norms?

Claim:

A video showing passengers complain about a full-capacity flight and violation of social distancing norms to crew members has been alleged to be a footage from an Air India flight, and is viral on Facebook. The video has been shared in the backdrop of ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to bring back stranded Indians from overseas. 

Verification:

However, a thorough background check on the internet revealed that the same video clip had been put up beforehand in the month of April on Twitter from the handle of Murtaza Ali Shah, a reporter of The News international, where he clearly stated that the clip belonged to a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight. Therefore, the above-mentioned claim can safely be dismissed as a rumour.

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Moulds On Leather Products, Malls Unsafe In India Even After Lockdown?

Claim:

A recently viral image across social media platforms suggest that a store in an Indian mall housing leather products have fungus moulds on them, and even after the lockdown comes to end, it won’t be safe to visit these stores since viruses can spread from them causing infections in our bodies. The initial post in Twitter was furthered by several reposts on Facebook via different users.

Verification:

However, on detailed verification, it has been revealed that the images were earlier uploaded by a web portal showing the plight of a store in Malaysia. To confirm this, the mall in Malaysia, named Metrojaya, took to their official Facebook page and addressed the issue to its customers. Hence, the above-mentioned claim can be dismissed as a rumour.

Source: Metrojaya

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Coronavirus Was Not Natural And Man-Made In A Chinese Laboratory?

Claim:

A Whatsapp forward message that said according to Japanese professor of physiology or medicine, Professor Dr. Tasuku Honjo, the coronavirus was not natural, but manufactured in a lab artificially, was very shocking. He also said that it was not natural due to the reason that it was spreading to all countries irrespective of their climate and temperature. This claim was quite trending and created a buzz amongst the people.

Verification:

Tasuku Honjo, Deputy Director-General and Distinguished Professor from Institute for Advanced Study, Kyoto University addressed this claim in the news section of the University website via a statement where he clearly denied putting forward any as such piece of information in public and wished for researchers across the globe to fight together with the common enemy corona!

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