A video showing several burqa-clad women entering a mall as shutters are lifted is being shared on social media with claims linking it to flouting of social distancing rules after lockdown was relaxed in Saudi Arabia. BOOM found that the video had been uploaded on internet in December 2019 and the claims were unrelated to lockdown or flouting of social distancing rules.
Several countries across the world have implemented lockdown in order to combat the deadly Coronavirus pandemic. India, in the fourth phase of lockdwon from May 17, has allowed major relaxations in economic activities and public movement.
Similarly, Saudi Arabia has since April 25, partially eased down Coronavirus restrictions implemented by the government. Malls and shopping centres have been allowed to remain open till May 22 (Ramadan 29), according to a news report.
With Eid round the corner, the viral video is being shared with captions purporting to show that people turned up for shopping in large numbers sending social distancing rules for a toss.
The 90-second-long video, shot from inside a commercial building shows a huge crowd standing at the entrance of the building. As the shutters are lifted, the crowd rushes in and there is a total commotion. The video has been shared with different captions.
A Hindi caption with the viral video shared below translates to 'A sale at a mall in Saudi made it difficult for the workers to control the huge crowd. As the shutter was lifted, the crowd entered the mall as if free food was being distributed inside. Women were specially sent to loot the store so that they can steal 50 items while paying for just ten. There are several places to hide the stolen items. The result of drying up of oil wells and fall in demand reflects clearly'.
(Hindi: सऊदी के एक मॉल में सेल लगी तो स्टोर के कर्मचारियों को बेहिसाब भीड़ को काबू करना मुश्किल हो गया, सटर खुलते ही भीड़ इस कदर अंदर घुसी कि मानो अंदर मुफ्त का भोजन बंट रहा हो और खासतौर से औरतों को ही इस स्टोर को लूटने के लिए भेजा गया, ताकि 50 आइटम दबाने पर मात्र दस के ही पैसे देने पड़ेंगे, बाकी तो काफी जगह होती है समान को छिपाने की, तेल के सूखने या डिमांड कम होने का असर साफ दिखने लगा है |)
The same clip was also shared with a caption reading 'Saudi Arab shopping mall after lock down'.
BOOM ran a reverse image search on the screenshots of the viral clip and we found the same video uploaded on YouTube on December 3, 2019 with a caption which translates to 'Women waiting to get into a store where everything is 5 Riyals'.
The video was also shared on Twitter on December 4, 2019 with similar claims in Arabic. The text with the tweet translates to 'A place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, everything is 5 riyals for people when you have the same honor and conviction'.
محل في المملكة العربيه السعودية كل شي 5 ريال الناس متي تكون عندها عزت نفس وقناعه pic.twitter.com/EdsjpbesIk— وطن النهار (@watan_alnhhar) December 3, 2019
Another tweet from a Twitter handle @AkhbarMakkah shared the clip with an Arabic text claiming the video is from a store in Al-Shawqwiya.
A Google translation of the text with the tweet reads 'This is what happened yesterday when a store in Al-Shawqiyya announced discounts for products of 5 riyals, which required the presence of teams from security patrols'.
هذا ما حدث يوم أمس عندما أعلن محل في الشوقية عن تخفضيات لمنتجات بـ 5 ريال، مما استدعى تواجد فرق من الدوريات الأمنية. pic.twitter.com/X9yYIkm4PQ— أخبار مكة المكرمة (@AkhbarMakkah) December 3, 2019
BOOM was unable to independently verify where the video was exactly from but it can be ascertained that it is not a recent one.
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