While the battle against COVID-19 pandemic rages on in many parts of the world, countries have considered partially relaxing lockdown measures. In Sri Lanka, the newly identified COVID-19 patients are mainly from 2 groups, the Sri Lanka Navy and the repatriated citizens. However, no patients have been identified out of these two groups for over a month now.
Hence, the attention has gradually shifted from the pandemic towards politics owing to the parliamentary elections to be held in early August. Given this context, we came across a different kind of claim related to COVID-19 getting viral among Tamil social media users.
The caption of the post when translated to English states that “A patient had fallen in love with a doctor who treated him for coronavirus in Egypt” Story went on to claim that Mohamed Fahmy was admitted to a hospital in Egypt and fell in love with the doctor Aya Mosbah who treated him and two months later, he proposed her. An image of a couple exchanging rings was also shared as seen below:
A Facebook user Nadir Khan Afridi along with a number of others had also shared similar posts with the caption “A corona patient fell in love with the doctor who treated him. Two months after that both of them got engaged in the hospital of Egypt. ❤💞💫❤ ”
Using google reverse image search, we found an Arabic website containing an article about these viral photos. After going through the article, we could find some more pictures of the couple. According to the article, the couple in the picture are Egyptian doctors Mohamed Fahmy and Aya Mosbah, who got engaged during the coronavirus pandemic in Dar Al-Shifa Hospital in Egypt’s Mansourah city. Nowhere in the article it is mentioned that either of these two was infected with COVID-19
We notice a watermark signature of “MOHAMED SELIM PHOTOGRAPHY” and thus traced the profile of Mohamed Selim on Facebook. Mohamed Selim had also posted these pictures on his Facebook page on May 25 and tagged Mohamed Fahmy and Aya Mosbah. Selim is a photographer in Mansourah.
Facebook profile of Mohamed Fahmy mentions that he had been engaged to Aya Mosbah since October 4, 2018, much before the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced in December 2019 for the first time in Wuhan, China.
Also, a number of fact checking organizations and verified news sources around the world had earlier debunked this claim
Therefore, the couple known each other since a long time and they have been engaged since 2018. Also, as claimed in the post the man in the picture didn’t suffer from COVID-19.
From the investigation, we can conclude that the claim about the image is false. The image is not of a COVID-19 patient exchanging rings with his doctor after he recovered from the disease. The images were a part of the wedding pre-shoot of one Mohamed Fahmy and Aya Mosbah. Both of them are doctors from Egypt and got engaged to each other in September 2018.
Title:Pre-wedding photoshoot images of a couple is falsely shared as COVID19 patient proposing to his doctorFact Check By: Nelson Mani