- An old photo was circulated on Facebook during this past weekend appearing to mislead the public
- The photo shows a packed ward at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital with equipment lying on the floor
- A fact-checking organisation did a deep dive into the photo and found it was taken back in 2018
Fake information is dangerous thing and perhaps has become even more dangerous during the Covid-19 pandemic, which requires utmost transparency.
A photo on Facebook, which has now been censored, was posted by a Facebook user Heinrich Lira G. The photo was captioned, "Chris Hani Hospital this past weekend."
The photo shows a full and seemingly chaotic hospital ward with medical equipment lying on the floor next to what looks like a long smear of blood.
Africa Check, an independent fact-checking organisation, then dug a little deeper to get to the bottom of the photo, which supposedly conditions of the hospital on 11 and 12 July, 2020.
Another user posted it on the same day with the comment:
“Chris Hani Hospital last weekend. So if you or someone want to go to hospital for any operation or something that isn’t an emergency you really need to have your head read [translated].”
A reverse image search done by Africa Check revealed that the photo is more than a year old. It appears in Facebook and Twitter posts in November 2018, identified as a trauma ward in Chris Hani Baragwanath.
The photo also appears in “What happens on a December night at Bara hospital”, a long report on a night City Press journalist Vuyo Mkize spent at the hospital, published on 25 December, 2018.
During a pandemic when such information can cause panic, people should take an extra step to verify things presented as facts.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that education unions call for the immediate closure of schools as South Africa jumps to 6th place in global Covid-19 infections. The unions want schools to close until August and only reopen if it is safe to do so.
This decision came about after five labour unions met with Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga.
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