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FACT CHECK: Busting some of the viral fake news related to deadly Coronavirus

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Summary

Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, misinformation and fake news are being widely spread. We tried to bust some of the widespread misinformation down below. 

China is facing an epidemic of a deadly virus, named Coronavirus which is alleged to originate from the Wuhan region in China. The virus has taken the lives of more than 800 people in China, as of 10th February 2020. 

So far India has reported 3 coronavirus positive cases -- all from Kerala. 

Amid the outbreak, misinformation and fake news are being widely spread. We tried to bust some of the widespread misinformation down below. 

1) Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the mosque to offer prayers to protect China from the deadly Coronavirus outbreak.

A post is going viral on Facebook that Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the mosque to offer prayers to protect China from the deadly Coronavirus outbreak. A set of pictures was shared by a Facebook page named Abdur Razak with a caption that can be roughly translated to, "#Finally China's enlightenment!! The President came to the mosque and asked for prayers to get rid of the virus. May Allah grant guidance."

In the picture, Xi Jinping can be seen in a mosque, meeting and greeting a number of people wearing skull caps. 

Similar claims are being shared on Twitter also.  

In our investigation, we found that these viral images are screenshots of a three-year-old CCTV footage and are sourced from a CCTV Video News Agency.  

The video is from July 2016, when the Chinese president visiting a mosque on a tour of Northwest China. And now stills from the video are being used to spread disinformation amid Coronavirus outbreak.  

2) China sought court approval to kill over 20,000 patients who were infected by the deadly novel Coronavirus

An article by a dubious website led to a rumor that China sought court approval to kill over 20,000 patients who were infected by the deadly novel Coronavirus. A number of people on social media expressed their shock and disbelief in this alleged action by China. 

People shared an article by ab-tc.com, also known as City News, claimed that China's highest court was expected to give a nod on Friday for the mass killing of Coronavirus patients in the country to halt the spread of the virus.

However, this news is completely false. The website did not cite a single official Chinese source while making this claim and no other reliable news website corroborated AB-TC's claim.

3) 'Boiled garlic water' can cure deadly novel Coronavirus

A message is being widely shared 'boiled garlic water' has the power to cure coronavirus infection. A Facebook message reads as, "Good news, Wuhan's coronavirus can be cured by one bowl of freshly boiled garlic water. An old Chinese doctor has proven its efficacy. Many patients has also proven this to be effective. Eight (8) cloves of chopped garlics add seven (7)cups of water and bring to boil., Eat and drink the boiled garlic water, overnight improvement and healing. Glad to share this."

However, there is no scientific evidence supporting the theory that boiled garlic water helps in preventing or curing the virus. 

A clarification has also been issued by Government through it's official PIB Twitter account saying, "The boiled Garlic water treatment to cure #Coronavirus is among the many #fakenews circulating on social media regarding Coronavirus."

The World Health Organization has also stated that currently there are no prevention or treatment mechanisms in place for the virus which is different from the regular common colds.

4) A picture showing dead bodies of those infected with the Coronavirus in China

A user named Barakallahufik Ameen shared an image in which a number of people can be lying on the roads, claiming that due to Islamophobia of China, the country is suffering now and people are losing their lives.

In our investigation, we found this image to be 6 years and nowhere related to Coronavirus. The image was published by Hindustantimes in March 2014, in a picture gallery of 'Top shots of the day', and had been captioned as, "People lay down in a pedestrian zone as part of an art project in remembrance of the 528 victims of the "Katzback" Nazi concentration camp, in Frankfurt. Reuters."



The picture was originally captured by Reuters

5) Wild animals kept in unhygienic conditions and sold as exotic delicacies are being shared as a market in China's Wuhan region

A Facebook page shared a video claiming to show the market, which sells animals as delicacies are where the Coronavirus originated.

The same video is also shared on Twitter with a similar claim. 

In our investigation, we found that the video is from Indonesia and not China, as being claimed. The viral video is from the Pasar Tradisional Langowan, in the North Sulawesi region of Indonesia.

With the help of a reverse image search, we found the same video to be uploaded on a YouTube channel on July 20, 2019, with the same text in the description 'Pasar Extream Langowan'on July 20, 2019, with the same text in the description 'Pasar Extream Langowan'.

Coronavirus is said to have emerged from the Hunan Seafood Wholesale marketplace in Wuhan.

Note: You can reach out to us at facthunt.in[at]gmail dot com if you find any issue with our articles.

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