Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly address Mann Ki Baat on April 25 included an already debunked video of a Faridabad doctor suggesting that the usage of nebuliser machines for COVID-19 patients is an alternative to oxygen cylinders.
While the original audio of the viral clip was not included in the Mann Ki Baat broadcast, the show portrayed the clip as an example of how doctors were taking to platforms like social media, WhatsApp and telephone to give consultation during the ongoing deadly second wave of COVID-19. The video was cited as part of a larger context about how doctors were taking on the responsibility to ensure that people are getting information from authentic sources.
Starting at the 7:22 minute mark in the Mann Ki Baat presentation video broadcast live by Doordarshan and other news channels, the prime minister urges citizens to seek information only through authentic sources. The English transcript of the show says: "Friends I urge you to to seek information only through authentic sources. You may consult your family doctor or nearby doctors through telephone. I am observing that several doctors are voluntarily shouldering this responsibility."
Following this, a few seconds of the viral debunked clip appears on the screen, where the doctor of Faridabad's Sarvodaya Hospital can be seen explaining how an empty nebuliser can act as a substitute for oxygen. This is accompanied by PM Modi stating in the background, "Many doctors are sharing information through social media... consulting through phone and WhatsApp."
The downloaded Mann Ki Baat address can be seen below. It is important to note that PM Modi himself did not mention the specific doctor or his claim, thus suggesting that this error took place while packaging the programme.
Doordarshan National had made the video private on its YouTube channel; which has however been republished with the referenced segment of the video removed.
What the video clip says
In the viral video, which was featured by Mann Ki Baat, a person who identifies himself as Dr Alok of Faridabad's Sarvodaya Hospital shows how a nebuliser could be used instead of an oxygen cylinder. He further advises the use of the nebuliser instead of running after oxygen, in the wake of a soaring demand of oxygen amid the second wave of the pandemic.
He advises using a nebuliser without adding any medicines in the medicine receptacle calling it "a trick to get oxygen supply". He says, "once the patient wears the mask, the nebuliser can be switched on and it will take in oxygen from the air and supply it to the patient ensuring that patients and their families do not have to struggle to get oxygen cylinders and concentrators." Below is a tweet featuring the longer version of the viral video
The snippet of the video and of that appearing in Mann Ki Baat can be seen below.
Hospital Does Not Endorse Content Of The Video
Sarvodaya Healthcare, Faridabad, distanced itself from Dr Alok's statements in the viral video.
In a statement, the hospital has said that it does not endorse the content of the video, and has suggested that no practice be followed without the consultation of a medical professional.
Further, Dr Jeenam Shah, a pulmonologist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, rubbished the claim in a statement given earlier to BOOM.
"This is absolute rubbish. Nebulisers are used by asthma patients and those with breathing difficulties. A nebuliser machine has a mask which has a holding chamber where you put in the medicine. The machine breaks down the liquid into smaller particles which can then travel to your lungs for bronchodilation so that the lungs and windpipe opens up", he said.
"When we are using a nebuliser without the medicine, it is as good as breathing normal air in which the oxygen level is going to be around 21%. There is absolutely no way that the nebuliser machine can produce oxygen more than that is there in our surroundings," Dr Shah added.
Read BOOM's debunk of the viral clip below.
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