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India’s rising Covid-19 cases have lately dominated the discourse on and off social media. With several states introducing stern measures to combat the resurgence of coronavirus cases, precautionary steps such as maintaining social distancing and use of face masks are being highlighted time and again.
Amid this, a picture of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia with their faces uncovered is circulating on Facebook and Twitter. In the picture, Kejriwal is seen putting a mask on a child.
Taking a dig at Kejriwal, one user wrote in Hindi, “He doesn’t wear a mask himself, but makes other people use them. He has Z+ security to shield him from coronavirus.”
India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the viral picture is not related to the pandemic. It was taken in November 2019 when Kejriwal and Sisodia were distributing pollution masks among students at a Delhi school.
The archived versions of the posts are saved here and here.
Using reverse image search, we found that several news websites had carried this picture in November 2019, when the pandemic had not even begun.
As per the picture caption in an “India Today” report on November 1, “Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia distributed pollution masks among school students at a Delhi school.” The picture was attributed to PTI.
A similar picture was also published by “Hindustan Times” on November 2, 2019, where the caption reads, “Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia seen helping a student as he puts on a mask, at Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Civil Lines, in New Delhi”. The headline of the report says, “Kejriwal distributes masks to school kids, asks them to write to Punjab, Haryana CM regarding smog”.
The video of the event was uploaded by news agency ANI on November 1, 2019, on YouTube, with the title, “Delhi CM Kejriwal distributes masks to schoolchildren.”
As per all these news reports, Kejriwal distributed masks to school students in Delhi on November 1 following rising pollution levels in the Capital. Addressing the event, he had also hit out at the Haryana government for its “failure to curb stubble burning”, which according to him was the root cause of pollution in Delhi.
The pandemic in India began in early 2020. Therefore, linking the viral picture with Covid-19 is misleading.
The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.
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Fact Check: This picture of Kejriwal without mask is not related to the pandemic – India Today
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