On February 7, Brajesh Misra, editor-in-chief of Bharat Samachar tweeted (archive) a 15-second video and said, “People from Wuhan can be heard begging for life from their homes. Instead of medical care, they have been locked inside their homes. These screams will echo for centuries in the global community. Coronavirus is spreading fast. India will have to prepare immediately.

[Translated from: जिंदगी की भीख मांगते चीन के वूहान शहर के ये लोग अपने घरों से चीखकर गिड़गिड़ा रहे हैं. इलाज, मदद की बजाय इन्हें घरों में बंद कर दिया गया है. चीन के लोगों की ये चीखें सदियों तक विश्व समुदाय का पीछा करेंगी. कोरोना वायरस चरम की तरफ बढ़ रहा है.भारत को तत्काल तैयारी में जुटना होगा.]”

Several social media users on Twitter and Facebook also shared the clip.

Fact-check

Alt News did a keyword search on Twitter and found that @Madhusu21543161 had tweeted the same text along with a longer version of the same video. Alt News recognised the South China Morning Post logo in the video.

Using this as a clue, we did a keyword search on the YouTube channel of South China Morning Post and found the original video. It was uploaded on January 28, 2020. According to the video description, Wuhan has been in lockdown since January 23 to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. But residents have found their own way to boost morale. Videos show people in their apartments shouting out of their windows and singing patriotic songs to cheer each other up. The videos have also gone viral on Chinese social media.

Therefore, the claims made by Brajesh Misra, editor-in-chief of Bharat Samachar are false. The people in the building were chanting slogans and patriotic songs to boost morale. They haven’t been locked inside their apartments.

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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.