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Government Ad On Wearing Masks Revived And Shared Without Context

BOOM found that the video was made in March – when the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was unclear and…

A video of a public health advisory ad made during the early stages of the pandemic in India, recommending healthy individuals need not wear masks, is being shared without context to make a case for not wearing masks.

BOOM found that this video was released in March 2020 by the Madhya Pradesh government and the National Health Mission. COVID-19 was at a nascent stage in India and wearing a mask was not mandatory at the time.

The video is viral at a time when many anti-maskers have been questioning the need to wear a mask.

Also Read: Misleading Anti-Mask Video By Indian Youth Goes Viral

The viral video has the Madhya Pradesh Government and the National Health Mission logos in the last frame. It is being shared as the latest guideline by the Ministry. Captions accompanying the video read “Healthy people SHOULD NOT wear masks .. from the Government of India 😄”

The 35-seconds video lists down three criteria in which masks should be worn while emphasising that healthy individuals need not wear a mask. The criteria listed are- while visiting hospitals, while tending to the sick, or while exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

The video is also viral on Facebook and YouTube.

View archives here and here.

Fact Check

A key frame-by-frame analysis as well as a reverse image search shows that the video was originally posted on March 19, 2020 on the Facebook profile of the collector from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. During this period, it was not mandatory to wear masks in the country. It was suggested to be a precautionary measure for individuals exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or cold.

At the beginning of the pandemic, in early…

Shachi Sutaria

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