A 16-second clip of Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendra Jain has gone viral on social media. On April 14, Facebook page ‘Mohsin Rfi Khan sp’ posted the viral video along with the Hindi text, “Now where has the paid media drowned? Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendra Jain said out of 30,000 not a single was tested positive for coronavirus in Markaz except a beggar who was sitting outside (अब कहां डूब के मरे गी यह दलाल मीडिया Satyendra Jain *दिल्ली के स्वास्थ्य मत्रीं सत्येन्द्र जैन ने कहा 30 हजार में से एक भी नही मिला मरकज़ में कोरोना पाॅजिटिव,मरकज के बाहर बैठा एक भिखारी निकला पाॅजिटिव*).” This post has been shared close to 700 times. (archive link)

 

#markaz_nizamuddin
अब कहां डूब के मरे गी यह दलाल मीडिया
*दिल्ली के स्वास्थ्य मत्रीं सत्येन्द्र जैन ने कहा 30 हजार में से एक भी नही मिला मरकज़ में कोरोना पाॅजिटिव,मरकज के बाहर बैठा एक भिखारी निकला पाॅजिटिव*
#cmdehli #satinder_jain #alka_lamba

Posted by Mohsin Rfi Khan sp on Tuesday, 14 April 2020

In the video, we can hear Jain saying that no one out of 30,000 people in Nizamuddin has tested positive for coronavirus. “Only a beggar sitting outside the Markaz was tested positive,” he states. We also see ANI’s mic in the viral video. Several Facebook and Twitter users have shared this clip. Additionally, it has also been shared on WhatsApp in the form of a TikTok video – presumably made by TikTok user @shariqmaliksm – which is no longer available.

Fact-check

Using the ANI logo on the mic as a clue, Alt News performed a keyword search on ANI’s YouTube account and found a one-minute video interview of Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain. ANI published this video on April 10. The viral video is clipped from the 38-second mark.

While talking about testing strategies, Jain says, “In Nizzamudin, we scanned 30,000 people in 6,000 households. Each one of them has been scanned and we found that one person was tested positive because of the Markaz and that person used to sit outside the Markaz and beg for alms. No one else has been found.” (Translated from: “जैसे निज़ामुद्दीन है, वहां पे 6000 घरों मे 30,000 लोगों को स्कैन किया. एक-एक आदमी को स्कैन किया और वहां पर हमें जो मरकज़ की वजह से एक आदमी पॉज़िटिव मिला जो मरकज़ के बाहर बैठके भीख मांगता था. बाकी कोई नहीं मिला अभी तक.”

The readers should note that on April 8 Livemint reported that the Delhi government announced a five-point plan to deal with coronavirus, including treating up to 39,000 patients and conducting “rapid random” testing in hotspots. According to an Indian Express report, the tests will begin from Nizamuddin and Dilshad Garden area. The report quoted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying, “We have ordered testing for around 50,000 people, and we have also ordered rapid testing rounds for 1 lakh people, which will begin from Friday.”

Jain’s statement to ANI has been placed out of context.

1. He doesn’t refer to the Markaz in the interview but says 30,000 people have been tested in Nizamuddin, out of which one who used to beg outside the Markaz has tested positive.

2. Jain was talking about rapid random tests done for 30,000 people in 6,000 households in the area. The Delhi government is testing residents of Nizamuddin at random since the Tablighi Jamaat headquarter – Nizamuddin Markaz – is located in the area.

3. This is above and beyond the contact tracing and testing of members of the Jamaat who visited the Markaz in mid-March.

On April 9, ANI published a report in which Jain was quoted as saying, “Till now, there are 669 COVID19 positive cases including 426 cases from Markaz, in Delhi.” Therefore, several positive cases have been linked to the Markaz. The video has been shared to falsely portray that no one from Nizamuddin Markaz has tested positive and the media has concealed the health minister’s statement.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel at WION as a trainee journalist, at S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer and at The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.