Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi published a story on August 8 claiming that 40 victims of the Air India Express plane crash at Kozhikode International Airport tested positive for coronavirus. The article is now deleted but the tweet remains (archive).
Purav Patel, who identifies as a senior special correspondent at News Nation, also claimed that 40 passengers tested positive.
Alt News contacted the Malappuram Collectorate’s office and was told that the claim is “fake news”. This was also tweeted by the District Collector in the afternoon of August 8.
— District collector, Malappuram (@CollectorMlpm) August 8, 2020
As per the latest update, one out of the at least 18 deceased tested COVID positive.
All the accident victims will be tested for COVID including those who died in the crash. So far, only one victim has tested positive for Coronavirus: Kerala Chief Minister’s Office (CMO)
— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2020
According to a PTI report, at least two passengers also tested positive for coronavirus.
There are no credible news reports which claim that 40 passengers were found to be COVID positive. The same has also been denied by the local government.