Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, or NCP, has now (as on February 11th) surpassed the total number of deaths due to the SARS virus back in 2003. As per latest reports, NCP has claimed over 1000 lives with over 40,000 confirmed cases all over the world. Wuhan city continues to be locked down with the Chinese government keen on making sure all civilians in the city are quarantined.
Prayers are being offered across the globe by people from every religion for the speedy recovery of all who have been affected by the deadly virus. At the same time, a number of false claims regarding Corona virus have surfaced on social media. Last week, we debunked a false claim that Chinese premier visited a Mosque during Coronavirus outbreak.
In this backdrop, we found a similar post by a Facebook user named Mohamed Rimzan with the following caption:
“It is a rare sight to see others participating in a special prayer organized by the Muslim community in China to save people from corona disease”. The post also contains a video in which a group of Muslims are praying on what appears to be a street in China.
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Many users commented on the post, expressing doubt regarding the video. Many have doubted whether the video is a recent one or old one and whether it has got anything to do with the recent novel corona virus outbreak in China.
We did a Facebook search using keywords “Muslims prayers in China” and we found this video posted by a person called Mak Mohamed from June 2019. The caption of the post reads as “Eid prayer in China, Yiwu, Zhejing province”.
We compared footages of the viral video with the Facebook live video posted by Mak Mohamed in June 2019 as below and confirmed that the location and the prayer are identical.
While searching the Facebook profile of Mak Mohamed, we found that he is an Indian who has been living in China for last 17 years. We noticed many other posts shared of the same event and expressing his view on how liberal the Chinese government has been to divert the traffic and allow Muslims to pray on the roads. Everyone is happy without any discrimination compared to other parts of the world
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From our investigation, we found that the viral video has got nothing to do with the recent Corona virus outbreak. A Facebook user shared the video in the month of June last year, when Chinese government officials diverted traffic and allowed Muslims to offer prayers on a busy street.
Title:Eid prayers on Chinese street in 2019 shared as Muslim community praying for CoronavirusFact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe
Result: Partly False