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We often come across manipulated photos and videos. Even though these media are many times used in a satirical manner, sometimes they are used to convey important ideas. Yet, when the actual details are not mentioned, people often get misled by such content and many times the underlying message gets diluted as well.
Below is an investigation we made about such a photograph related to the Lotus Tower in Colombo, which was recently opened to the public.
Social Media Posts
A social media post based on a photograph indicated that a patient was lying on a bed and holding a saline bottle using his hands, while the majestic Lotus Tower was rising high in the background through the window of the hospital.
This image got shared in many interpretations among Sinhala and Tamil language users and some also commented that even the hospital ward didn’t have a saline bottle holder.
The posts were viral on Facebook as seen below.
Firstly, our attention was drawn to the details of the image. The purported image showed another high rising building through the hospital window, almost of equal height to that of the Lotus Tower.
However, the Lotus Tower measures to 350-meters and is the tallest tower / building in Sri Lanka to-date, hence its impossible to notice a building with a similar height.
We then did a reverse image search to locate the original photo related to the viral image. There we found that it was a photo that had been circulating on Sri Lankan social media circles since the beginning of September, and that the actual photo did not have a window view nor an image of the lotus tower.
The story behind the original photo
Below is the photo that was circulating on social media saying that the hospital is Karapitiya Hospital. Facebook | Archived link We detected that the same photo was published in a news website and can be reached from here. Archived
A photo comparison can be seen below.
Director – Karapitiya Hospital
Since many posts claimed the scene to be Karapitiya hospital, we forwarded the image to Dr. Priyantha Jeevaratne, Acting Director of Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. The doctor confirmed that this is a ward at Karapitiya Hospital. He also mentioned that no part of the Lotus Tower was visible from the Karapitiya Hospital premises.
It is also observed that the sick person is holding the saline bottle in his hand, while the saline bottle holders are hanging behind.
Hence, our investigation of the viral social media photo reveals that the photo circulated on social media is an edited photo.
Sri Lanka is facing severe medicine shortage
However, we detected that using this edited photo, people commented regarding the rising drug prices in Sri Lanka as well as the shortage of essential drugs.
Many hospitals and pharmacies are reporting about the unprecedented increase in drug prices and the shortage of essential drugs, and as a result, patients are facing many problems. Such media reports can be read from here and here. Archived & Archived
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Title:A Photo of a patient lying on a hospital bed while the lotus tower looms in the background? Find Out the Facts…Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha