Two images of old women – one, sitting on the road and the other, on a motorcycle – with oxygen cylinders, are being widely shared as hospitals in various states report an acute shortage of oxygen amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the situation in the country remains tense due to the rising cases, we found that these images were not related to the ongoing pandemic in India.
The image of the old woman sitting on the road is from Uttar Pradesh, it was taken in 2018, much before the coronavirus pandemic began. And the second image of a son and his mother on a motorcycle is recent, but from Bangladesh.
The Facebook account of Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) mass outreach programme, ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ shared the image taking a dig at the Bhartiya Janata party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Telangana Congress also shared the image on Facebook, along with another photo of a man and a woman carrying an oxygen cylinder on a motorcycle.
The image was also shared on Twitter by a verified handle of 'Siddharth Setia' as the 'situation in India' and by user 'Sharafat Ali Khatri', who identifies himself as the President of Youth Congress Makrana.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We ran a keyword search on YouTube using words ‘woman hospital oxygen cylinder’ and came across a bulletin uploaded by The Times of India in April 2018.
The woman in the viral image can be seen in the TOI bulletin and the description along with the video mentioned that the incident was from Uttar Pradesh’s Agra.
A man had to reportedly wait for an ambulance at Agra Medical College while he carried an oxygen cylinder that was attached to his mother, on his shoulder, the description added.
The man, along with his mother, waited for a long time but the vehicle did not show up. However, hospital authorities denied the allegation while assuring action in the matter.
News agency ANI had also carried visuals of the incident and at 0:03 seconds, one can see the same image as the viral one.
We noticed that the board in the background of the viral image reads, 'বরিশাল ইঞ্জিনিয়ারিং কলেজ' which translates to 'Barishal Engineering College'.
We also looked up the text on Google and found that the Barishal Engineering College is a public undergraduate college in Barishal, Bangladesh, and is affiliated to the University of Dhaka.
It's location on Google Maps can be seen here.
A reverse image search also led us to several news reports by Bangladeshi portals which stated that the image was taken at the Hiran Point area in front of Barishal University.
Bangladeshi daily, Prothom Alo reported that the image was taken by a passing pedestrian, which then went viral on social media.
The man in the photo was identified as one Ziaul Hasan who had travelled a distance of 18 km on a motorcycle to take his mother, Rehena Parveen, to Barishal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital.
Parveen, who is currently under going treatment for COVID-19 at the hospital, was breathing through the mask and oxygen cylinder, tied to her son's waist, as her condition had worsened.
While the images may be unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic in India, it is true that hospitals in states like Maharashtra and Delhi have reportedly been facing acute medical oxygen with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urging the centre to “urgently provide oxygen to Delhi”.
(With inputs from SM Hoax Slayer)
(Note: The story has been updated to include an image from Bangladesh falsely shared as the 'situation in India' by Telangana Congress.)
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