WebQoof Recap: Of Misinformation on PM Cares & COVID-19 Vaccines

Here’s a round up of all that misled the public this week.

4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Image used for representational purposes.&nbsp;</p></div>

From Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut claiming that the central government had “allocated” money from the PM CARES fund to Delhi and Maharashtra governments for setting up oxygen plants, to misleading claims around COVID-19 vaccine, here's what misled the public this week.

1. No, Centre Did Not ‘Allocate’ Funds for Oxygen Plants to States

As Delhi grapples with an acute shortage of oxygen, the Centre and the Kejriwal government are at loggerheads with each other regarding the setting up of eight oxygen plants, which had been sanctioned under the PM-CARES Fund (Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund) last year.

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut took to social media to share a graphic, questioning where were the funds “allocated” by the Centre to state governments to put up oxygen plants. It notes that only one oxygen plant has been set up in Delhi and Maharashtra, each.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>You can view an archived version <a href="https://archive.st/archive/2021/4/twitter.com/rgbi/twitter.com/KanganaTeam/status/1385977488740859905.html">here</a>.</p></div>

You can view an archived version here.

(Photo: Twitter/Screenshot)

However, the claim that the Centre had ‘given’ money to the states for setting up the oxygen plants is misleading.

The tender document in the public domain shows that the Central Medical Supply Store (CMSS) – an autonomous body of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare – had floated the tender for 150 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants in October 2020. Out of this, eight were to be set up in Delhi and 10 in Maharashtra.

You can read our full story here.

2. Imposter Account of Advani Criticises Modi Govt; Tweets Go Viral

As India continues to witness an unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases, the Centre and state governments have come under strong criticism from all quarters. Amid this, a Twitter handle impersonating Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart Lal Krishna Advani has cropped up on social media.

The account regularly tweets criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP's handling of the COVID crisis.

Screenshots of two tweets by the aforementioned account criticising PM Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are massively viral on Facebook and Twitter.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archived version of the post can be accessed <a href="https://perma.cc/D9QT-74FC">here</a>.</p></div>

An archived version of the post can be accessed here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

We analysed the social media activity of the said account and found several red flags including spelling errors and frequently changing user ids to ascertain that it is not the real account of the BJP leader. Further, the account has now purged its timeline, and changed the handle (slightly).

You can read our full story here.

3. No, COVID-19 Vaccine Doesn’t Pose a Risk When Taken During Periods

A massively viral image on social media cautions women above 18 years of age to not take coronavirus vaccine five days before and after their menstrual cycle as it can “affect immunity” of a person.

The message in the viral image claims that one’s immunity is “very less” when they are experiencing periods. So, it urges women to not take vaccine before and after five days of their menstrual cycle.

WebQoof Recap: Of Misinformation on PM Cares & COVID-19 Vaccines

(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

However, we spoke to several gynaecologists who didn’t only rubbish the viral claim but added, “There is no problem if a woman takes vaccine during, after and before periods unless she is planning for a baby. Don’t withhold your vaccination because of this.”

You can read our full story here.

4. No, an Empty Nebuliser is Not an Alternative to Oxygen Cylinders

A video going viral on the internet claims that using a nebuliser without any medicine will help in increasing blood oxygen levels in people, and they don't have to run around for oxygen cylinders.

The speaker identifies himself as Dr Alok and social media posts have claimed that he is associated with Sarvodaya Hospital, Faridabad.

The claim comes while there is rampant shortage of oxygen in the country and several Delhi hospitals have sent out SOS calls pleading for oxygen supply as they struggled to cope with the increasing number of patients amid the second wave of COVID-19.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://archive.is/y84eu">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

However, we spoke with doctors and found out that the claim does not hold water. Using a nebuliser, with or without medicines, will not increase oxygen levels in the body. Moreover, Sarvodaya Hospitals have also issued a clarification stating that the claim is false and warned against it.

You can read our full story here.

5. Remdesivir Named After Indian Scientist Ramesh Desigan? Not True

A viral message on social media claims that antiviral drug Remdesivir – currently being used in treatment of COVID-19 – has been named after an Indian scientist named Ramesh EM Desigan from Tamil Nadu.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archived version of the post can be accessed <a href="https://perma.cc/ER4R-NXPF">here</a>.</p></div>

An archived version of the post can be accessed here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

The Quint went through publicly available data on the development and trials of the drug and spoke to its parent company Gilead Sciences who said that the claim isn’t true.

You can read our full story here.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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