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Fact Check-Authentic COVID-19 news reports from India show people have died outside hospital while waiting for treatment

Claims that news outlets have exaggerated India’s latest COVID-19 outbreak because they have confused people who “like to sleep in the streets” for people who have died is not true. There have been multiple authentic videos and reports of people who are unwell and have died before reaching adequate treatment.

A video being shared on multiple social media accounts (here , here) features a woman sitting in a car in New Delhi, telling viewers that the COVID-19 situation in India is “alright”. Panning the camera around to show her immediate vicinity, she says: “There are no people dying in the street. I would also like to say that all the videos you’ve seen about Delhi about people dying in the streets, that’s not true because Indians like to sleep in the streets […]

“You have people, to take a nap, will sleep in the streets, especially poor people and that’s absolutely fine. That doesn’t mean that they’re dying or anything. It’s just culturally like that.

“So whatever they show you about India, it’s bullshit. It’s not true at all.”

However, this is misleading. While people weren’t visibly dying on the street close to the woman’s vehicle when she was filming the video, this does not mean it hasn’t happened elsewhere.

India is currently in the grip of its second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and has repeatedly broken the global single-day record for new cases. On April 28, a total of 360,960 new infections were reported, the seventh consecutive day where infections surpassed 300,000. It was also the deadliest day so far, with 3,293 fatalities carrying the toll to 201,187 (here).

Experts, however, have repeatedly questioned the official figures for cases and deaths, indicating the numbers are likely underreported (here , here).

In New Delhi, Reuters has reported specific incidents where people have been forced to wait outside an already overflowing hospital and have died while waiting for treatment (here , here). Another report about the same issue from the same hospital can viewed here .

One Reuters report has also documented people desperate for treatment turning up at a Sikh gurudwara on the outskirts of Delhi in hope of getting oxygen. Two deaths were witnessed at the temple in one evening during the making of the report (here).

VERDICT

Missing context. It is misleading to say the COVID-19 situation in India is exaggerated because people are not dying in one specific area at one specific moment. There are multiple reports of overrun hospitals and people dying before they can receive treatment – all while the domestic COVID-19 figures for cases and deaths continue to break global records.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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