Misinformation Around XBB Omicron Variant, False Claims About Rahul Gandhi & More – Newschecker

COVID misinformation made a comeback this week with a rise in the number of cases in neighbouring China among other countries across the globe. Add to it, the false claims surrounding Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathan and Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, fact checkers had their hands full. Here are our top 5 fact checks from the past week:


Viral WhatsApp Forward On XBB Variant Has No Basis In Facts

A WhatsApp forward warning users about the symptoms and precautions concerning the new ‘XBB omicron variant’ is going viral. The viral message claims that “The new virus COVID- Omicron XBB is 5 times more virulent than the delta variant and has a higher mortality rate”. Further, it reads “the symptoms of the new XBB variant does not include having cough or fever but a limited number of joint pain, headache, upper back pain, neck pain, and pneumonia will be its symptoms.”  Newschecker found that the viral message is false.  Read more here.

TTE Electrocuted Through Earphones? Viral Claim Is False

A video claiming to show a TTE getting electrocuted through earphones is going viral on social media platforms. Newschecker found the claim to be false. The man seen in the viral video, identified as Sujan Singh, was injured after a live electric wire fell on him at Kharagpur railway station. We reached out to Rajesh Kumar, the PRO of Kharagpur division, who shared a report of  Zee 24 Ghanta with us. The report carried a video byte of DRM Mohammed Shujat Hashmi confirming that Sujan Singh is out of danger and confirms that the electrocution occured when a ‘thin wire’ fell on Sujan. Read more here

Did Jitendra Singh Tie Rahul Gandhi’s Shoe Lace? Video Viral With False Claim

Ever since its beginning, Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo yatra has attracted much misinformation on social media. The latest is a video showing former union minister and Congress leader Jitendra Singh Alwar bending down, purportedly ‘to tie up Gandhi’s shoe laces’. The claim was shared by many pages affiliated with the BJP, including state units and party office holders. Newschecker found that  video of Alwar, bending down to tie his own shoe laces, have been shared out of context to claim that the leader was trying up Rahul Gandhi’s shoe laces. Read more here.

Pathan Controversy: SRK Called Pakistan His ‘Second Home’? Here’s The Truth Behind Viral Tweet

Amid the ongoing controversy around YRF’s upcoming movie Pathan, an alleged screengrab of a tweet by BBC Hindi carrying “Big statement” by Shah Rukh Khan has grabbed the attention of social media users. The text in the viral image states that Khan called Pakistan his second home, and said that the first day collection of Pathan will be donated to a Pakistani NGO.  Newschecker found that the tweet is fabricated and actually originated from a satire page. Read more here.

No, Viral Video Does Not Show Messi Hugging His Mother After FIFA World Cup Win

A video showing Lionel Messi hugging a woman on field after winning the FIFA World Cup on Sunday is going viral on social media platforms. Those who shared the video claim it shows the Argentine captain embracing his mother Celia María Cuccittini after the win over France in the tournament’s finals. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue. The woman seen in the viral clip is not Messi’s mother. Read more here.

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