Truth or Fake

Covid-19 patients killed in India? We fact-checked 4 videos

Covid-19 patients killed in India? We fact-checked 4 videos
Covid-19 patients killed in India? We fact-checked 4 videos © Observers

Medical staff murdering Covid-19 patients in India? This is what a video compilation posted on Twitter on 29 April claims to show. However, we analysed each of the four extracts and found that they were not only unrelated to each other, but also that some of them are not related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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For Truth or Fake, the Observateurs' team looked into this post about the Covid-19 pandemic in India. Shared more than 27,000 times on Twitter, the caption reads: "They don't die, they are killed."

Among the dozens of comments, social media users expressed their distrust of the authorities. For one of them, these alleged murders contribute to the "depopulation agenda" which, according to him, has been programmed by the elites. According to another, Covid-19 is merely an excuse to kill Indians, after which their organs "are harvested and sold at a high price". 

The video of the post features four extracts: a few seconds per sequence, and a deafening music. Derek Thomson looked into the origin of these clips: none of them show hospital staff killing Covid-19 patients. Some have nothing to do with the pandemic at all. 

Detailed analysis

Video 1: It was taken from an interview which aired on Indian television in April, during a live broadcast outside a hospital. "Every day, seven people die" from Covid-19 at this hospital, complained a woman who had just lost her father. In a fit of emotion, she said that "they are not dying, but being killed". According to Indian media reports, her words were taken out of context: she criticised the crisis management at the hospital, which she considers responsible for her father's death. 

Video 2: These images were originally posted on an Indian Instagram account. They have gone so viral in the country that the police in the southern Indian state of Karnataka recently investigated their origin. The beaten patient did not have Covid-19, but depression, and the two caregivers involved have been arrested.  

Video 3: This scene was filmed in Rajkot, Gujarat, in September 2020. According to the authorities, the man, who was lying on the floor, went mad and tried to escape from the hospital. He had just been transferred there after testing positive for Covid-19, following kidney surgery. "According to the opinion given by our psychiatry department, at the time the video was shot, he had a bout of hysteria and started running, [...] he was taking off his clothes and behaving in a manner that he could harm himself and other patients. When persuading him didn’t work, he was restrained" a director of the hospital told The Indian Express. 

Video 4: This footage has been regularly shared in Asia since the beginning of the health crisis to denounce the alleged mistreatment of Covid-19 patients by hospital staff. It was shot in Bangladesh after a fight broke out between two rival gangs. In the video, a member of one of the gangs kills an elderly man by suffocating him with a surgical mask. Other images shows houses being vandalised and looted by the other gang. 

If you want us to verify a photo or video, contact us on the Twitter account @Observers.