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WebQoof Recap: Of the ‘Singapore Variant’ and Cyclone Tauktae

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

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WebQoof
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Here's a round up of all that misled the public this week.</p></div>
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From Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s misleading claim regarding the ‘Singapore variant’ of the coronavirus to old clips from Saudi Arabia and Mumbai being shared as ‘recent’ ones after Cyclone Tauktae hit India, here’s a quick recap of all that misled the public this week.

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1. There is No 'Singapore Variant', Kejriwal's Claim is Misleading

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed on Twitter that a "new variant" of COVID-19 was found in Singapore that could result in a third wave of infections in India and impact kids. In his tweet, he made two appeals to the central government – to suspend flights between India and Singapore and to have priority on vaccine options for children.

WebQoof Recap: Of the ‘Singapore Variant’ and Cyclone Tauktae

(Image: Twitter/Screenshot)

Singapore’s diplomatic mission in India responded to Kejriwal’s tweet, stating that “There is no truth in the assertion” that there was a new strain of the coronavirus in Singapore. Further, the response explained that testing showed that the B.1.617.2 strain was the prevalent strain in many of Singapore’s recent COVID cases, which is a sublineage of the B.1.617 strain first discovered in India.

We also found no mention of the ‘Singapore variant’ on New York Times' virus and mutations tracker, or in any communication by the World Health Organization.

You can read the full story here.

2. Old Clips of Mumbai, Saudi Arabia Passed Off as Cyclone Tauktae

As Cyclone Tauktae hit various parts of India between 15 May and 18 May, various clips of strong winds and lashing waves surfaced across social media platforms, claiming them to be recent videos of the cyclone’s effects as observed in India.

WebQoof Recap: Of the ‘Singapore Variant’ and Cyclone Tauktae

(Image:Facebook/Twitter/Altered by The Quint)

We found that three viral clips that were being circulated were all old and were able to find the source of two of the three clips.

The first one showing cars being destroyed by strong winds dated back to 2020 and was from Medina, Saudi Arabia and not from Nariman Point in Mumbai. The second clip of a tree swaying in the wind was also from last year and was shot in Nariman Point, Mumbai while the third one showing high waves washing over a sea bridge was found to be old too, though we were not able to independently verify the source of the video.

You can read the full story here.

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3. No, an Old Man Did Not 'Stop' UP CM From Entering a Lane in a Village

A viral video on social media claimed that an old man from Bijauli in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh prevented CM Yogi Adityanath from entering a lane in the village using a cot and a rope. The clip was posted on Twitter by Uttar Pradesh’s Youth Congress president Omveer Yadav and was also shared by Youth Congress Central UP’s official Facebook page.

WebQoof Recap: Of the ‘Singapore Variant’ and Cyclone Tauktae

(Image: Twitter/Screenshot)

We analysed the clip’s audio and did not notice any uncooperative statements as claimed. In the video, the CM could be heard advising the old man to be careful, wear masks, and stay indoors.

Meerut Police responded to the tweet and called the claim “baseless and misleading”, going on to explain that Adityanath visited the area to enquire about a COVID-19 positive family’s well-being. He later interacted with the village’s Primary Health Centre and the Rapid Response Team (RRT).

You can read the full story here.

4. Morphed Image Goes Viral as Israel Paying Tribute to Nurse Soumya

A morphed image of a fighter jet embossed with the name ‘Soumya’ went viral on social media claiming that Israel was paying tribute to Soumya Santosh, an Indian nurse who lost her life in a Hamas air strike in Ashkelon near the Gaza strip.

The image went viral after her mortal remains were brought back to New Delhi on Saturday, 15 May.

WebQoof Recap: Of the ‘Singapore Variant’ and Cyclone Tauktae

(Image: Facebook/Screenshot)

However, we found the image posted on various Chinese websites in April last year. The jet in the viral photo was identified as a Chengdu J-10 fighter jet, China’s indigenously developed multi-role stealth fighter jet and the photo was digitally altered to add ‘Soumya’ to the side of the aircraft.

You can read more about the morphed viral image here.

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5. No, This Video Does Not Show Palestinians 'Faking' Injuries

A video of artists applying makeup on people of all ages to mimic injuries was being shared across social media with the claim that it showed Palestinians ‘forging’ injuries for sympathy and to present Israel in a bad light. The posts claimed that children were being painted red in Gaza to show Muslims suffering.

WebQoof Recap: Of the ‘Singapore Variant’ and Cyclone Tauktae

(Image: Facebook/Screenshot)

We found a longer version of the same video by TRT World, which dated back to 2017. It showed the work of special effects makeup artist Mariam Saleh, who broke into the small and predominantly male Gaza film industry by teaching herself makeup skills.

The video showed her team working on a project by French charity Doctors of the World, which aimed to increase awareness of the dangers faced by Gaza residents.


You can read the 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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(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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