West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh was tested COVID-19 positive on October 16. NDTV reported Ghosh was admitted to the high dependency unit at a private hospital. On October 18, Ghosh thanked people in a tweet for sending recovery wishes. Amidst this, an image of bed-ridden Ghosh has been shared with the claim that BJP leaders did not wear masks while visiting him.

Facebook page The Positive Indian shared the image with the text, “Meeting COVID Positive Dilip Ghosh without wearing any Mask. Only BJP Leaders can Show Such Courage.” It was likes close to 700 times. (archived link)

The photo was shared on Twitter as well. One such user was @_TheEnigmous. Along with the viral text, he tagged BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya. (archived link)

This tweet was retweeted by Twitter account @TMC_Supporters that has 18,000 followers.

Even Zee News Bengla published this image in a report (archived link) on Ghosh contracting coronavirus. Similar reports were carried by Bengali news outlets Deshbidesh (archived link) and Banglanewslive (archived link).

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Image is from 2018

Alt News performed a Google reverse image search and found that the viral image was published by Bengali news outlet Kolkota 24×7 in January 2018.

According to The Indian Express, Ghosh was admitted to a private hospital with complaints of severe back pain. “His primary diagnosis showed he is suffering from prolapsed intervertebral disc, a press release issued by the hospital said.”

He was admitted at AMRI Hospital in Kolkata’s Salt Lake area on January 22, 2018.

Alt News spoke with media relations coordinator (MRO) at AMRI Hospital, Salt Lake. “Kindly note that while this image doing the rounds on social media is indeed from AMRI Hospitals it’s not recent. I don’t remember the exact date but it should be around 2018 when media reports were published. Mr Dilip Ghosh was admitted with neurological complaints,” he said.

“Currently, Mr Ghosh is admitted at the COVID building and as per protocol, no visitors are allowed. No one including doctors and healthcare workers can enter the building without proper personal protection equipment,” the MRO furthered.

West Bengal BJP MP Arjun Singh reiterated the same to Alt News, “Dilip ji is recovering well. The claim is baseless because no visitors are allowed to meet COVID-19 patients.”

Thus, a 2018 image of West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh was carried by Zee News while reporting that he tested positive for COVID-19. The image was shared on social media with claims that BJP members visited him without wearing masks. 

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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.