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Old Image of a dead Mother being carried on a bike is falsely linked to Oxygen shortage during current COVID-19 crisis


An image of a dead mother being carried by her son and husband on a bike is being shared on social media, claiming that the situation arose because of the unavailability of the ambulance, which is being linked to India’s current Oxygen crisis. Let us fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of this post can be found here

Claim: Image of a dead mother being carried by her son and husband on a bike due to unavailability of an ambulance amid India’s COVID-19 related Oxygen crisis.

Fact: The photo in the post was taken in June 2017 when a dead Mother was being carried by her Son and Husband due to denial of a Mortuary Van in Purnia Sadar Hospital, Bihar. The photo is not related to the present COVID-19 pandemic and the oxygen shortage crisis in India due to rising COVID-19 cases. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

When we performed a Reverse Image Search of the photo, Google search results led us to an article by Hindustan Times, published on 04 June 2017. The article describes the plight of the son and father who had to carry the dead mother on a bike as they were denied a Mortuary Van. According to the article, both son and father were wage labourers in Punjab who rushed back to their village when informed about the Mother’s illness. They got her admitted to Purnia Sadar Hospital but she eventually died of her illness. This incident happened in Purnia District, Bihar. Another news article confirms the same incident in 2017.

India is facing an acute shortage of medical oxygen amidst increasing COVID-19 cases. Over the past week, many COVID-19 patients have died due to the unavailability of medical oxygen in hospitals in a few states. Related news articles can be seen here, here, and here. But the post above cannot be linked to the crisis the country is presently facing because the incident in the post took place in 2017 when the COVID-19 pandemic was unknown.

To sum it up, old image of a person carrying his dead mother on a bike is linked to Oxygen shortage during present COVID-19 crisis.


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