As China gradually shows signs of recovery from the deadly COVID19 epidemic, patients testing positive for the deadly virus has escalated in other parts of the world, prompting the World Health Organization to declare the situation a “pandemic.” Governments around the world have requested public to not to fall for misinformation and follow only verified news sources pertaining to latest developments.
As the attention shifts from Wuhan and China to Europe, the new epicenter of COVID19, a number of people have asked the rest of the world to learn from China how they managed to deal with COVID19. Since, latest reports showed increase in the number of confirmed cases from countries like Italy, Spain, France, Iran etc. In the middle of all these developments, widespread rumors on social media suggesting China has totally eradicated the threat have surfaced, despite WHO still considering China in the high-risk category.
A Facebook post in Sinhala language by a social media page “Thuruwiyen Environment Organization” caught our attention. The caption of the post is as follow: “චීනයේ වුහන් නගරයේ අවසන් රෝගියා නිදහස් කර ඇත. එය හමාරයි. ඔවුන් සමරනවා” the English translation: “The last patient from the city of Wuhan, China has been discharged. It’s over. They’re celebrating”. Given below is a screenshot of the post
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While audiences around the world are in search of credible information and it is vital to share those that offer a sense of hope in a growing pandemic, yet it is of paramount importance not to mislead or offer false hope. It could possibly result in reduced public safety at a time when following precautionary measures are an absolute necessity.
We came across a number of reports from Wuhan showing how medical workers were celebrating marking the closure of all 16 temporary hospitals in the city in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in central China’s Hubei Province. Links of a few of such reports are given below:
Yet this is not an indication that the crisis is completely over in the area, but an indication that containment efforts are making strong headway in mitigating the deadly virus. China, so far, accounts for a staggering 80,000+ confirmed cases and over 3000 deaths.
Google Reverse Image Search of the image also confirmed that these reports of Chinese medical staff celebrating the discharge of patients from the last of makeshift hospitals in Wuhan have been the cause for creating misleading posts claiming last patient from Wuhan discharged.
When we inspected the latest number of patient reports from Wuhan we found that the numbers have drastically reduced. Reuters reported “The Chinese city of Wuhan, ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak, reported just five new cases on Friday, the second day in a row the tally has been less than 10, while no locally transmitted infections were reported in the rest of the country.”
The latest figures by WHO confirms that the death toll had increased to over 5000 with 123 affected countries as of 14th March. With the increase in locations and growing number of cases being reported, it is essential that the public be made aware of all the necessary and verified information.
From our investigation it is clear that the message provided in the social media post “The last patient from the city of Wuhan, China has been discharged” is partly false as it doesn’t provide the complete picture in Wuhan. While the number of newly reported cases have continuously dropped to single digits in Wuhan and the last of the temporary hospitals have closed down, still there are a number of patients getting treatment for COVID19 in Wuhan.
Title:Did the last COVID19 Infected Patient In Wuhan get Discharged..? Here’s The Truth!Fact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe
Result: Partly False