Old video from Pakistan shared as UP student tests COVID positive after B.Ed exam

The number of COVID-19 cases across the country has skyrocketed to a whopping 33 lakh. Meanwhile, on August 9, the B.Ed entrance examination was held in Uttar Pradesh. Post this, the state witnessed a sharp jump in the number of COVID-19 cases, with 38 new cases recorded in the city of Agra alone. Following this, students began collectively demanding the cancellation of the upcoming NEET and JEE exams. The two entrance examinations have recently been scheduled for next month with admits card also released. It is important to note that the decision to hold the exams has been quite controversial and is facing continued resistance from students. Responding to the backlash, the National Examination Agency clarified on August 25 that the exams would be held as per their scheduled dates with no further postponements.

In the middle of all this, a 29-second video began going viral on social media with a demand to cancel the NEET and JEE entrance examinations. In the clip posted on August 22, a young man lying on a hospital bed can be seen having great difficulty in breathing. The video’s caption identifies him as Saurab Kumar, who had given the B.Ed entrance examination in Uttar Pradesh. Twitter user @Ithinkpranay shared the video claiming that Kumar had tested positive for COVID-19 after giving the exam and was now in critical condition. The video had been viewed more than 19,000 times and garnered 1,900 retweets at the time of writing. (archived link to the tweet)

This was followed by several other users on Twitter sharing the video with these claims.

Fact-check

A reverse image search of a frame from the viral video led us to a tweet from writer and columnist Vikas Saraswat dated March 24. Saraswat had shared the same video and mentioned that it was from Pakistan. He justified this claim by quoting a Pakistani user’s tweet from March 23 in a thread. This makes one thing quite clear, the video is not linked in any way to the B.Ed entrance exam held in Uttar Pradesh on August 9 because it had already been shared four months prior in March.

In addition to this, we found a longer version of the video that had been uploaded to YouTube on March 29. This video shows an ambulance with ‘Rescue 1122’ written on the front.

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When we looked up Rescue 1122, we discovered it was linked to the Punjab Emergency Service, a rescue and emergency response organization operating in Pakistan. In the video, several doctors and others wearing face masks and gloves could be seen surrounding the patient. The coronavirus pandemic had begun spreading dramatically in the month of March. In Pakistan too, the number of COVID-19 patients had risen significantly at the time.

Footage of a patient in Pakistan’s Punjab province was thus falsely shared on social media as India. Apart from this, the video was being linked to the recent B.Ed entrance examinations in Uttar Pradesh. Along with this was also a demand to cancel the NEET and JEE entrance examinations.

[Note: This article does not intend to condone the Education Ministry’s decision to hold NEET and JEE entrance tests during COVID-19. Alt News has only reported on the misinformation circulating in the view of the examinations.] 

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