A video of Wuhan residents mourning the death of doctor Li Wenliang, the whistleblower of Coronavirus outbreak, is viral on social media with false claims that they were crying and panicking in fear of their lives.
The 15 second long footage, filmed from a high rise, documents faint voices from several other high rises blowing whistles and sloganeering to show solidarity and mourn the death of Dr Wenliang. Buildings can be seen to be partially lit as the camera pans to another section of the city, which bears an otherwise deserted look. Wuhan has been under a complete lock-down since January 23, after the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus.
Dr Wenliang, a 34-year-old Chinese ophthalmologist at the Wuhan Central Hospital, was the first one to warn about the outbreak of the virus on December 30, 2019. The young doctor was then called and retorted by Wuhan Police who charged him for spreading rumours through the internet. He later contracted the virus from an infected patient and died on February 7.
BOOM found that the video is a call to action, by Wuhan citizens, in memory of Dr Wenliang.
The video has been tweeted by Brajesh Misra, editor in chief, Bharat Samachar, with a Hindi caption, that translates to, "These people of Wuhan city of China are screaming from their homes and begging for life. Instead of treatment and help, they have been locked in their homes. These screams of the people of China will haunt the world community for centuries. Corona virus is moving towards the extreme. India will have to prepare immediately."
Translated from Hindi: "जिंदगी की भीख मांगते चीन के वूहान शहर के ये लोग अपने घरों से चीखकर गिड़गिड़ा रहे हैं. इलाज, मदद की बजाय इन्हें घरों में बंद कर दिया गया है. चीन के लोगों की ये चीखें सदियों तक विश्व समुदाय का पीछा करेंगी. कोरोना वायरस चरम की तरफ बढ़ रहा है.भारत को तत्काल तैयारी में जुटना होगा."
जिंदगी की भीख मांगते चीन के वूहान शहर के ये लोग अपने घरों से चीखकर गिड़गिड़ा रहे हैं. इलाज, मदद की बजाय इन्हें घरों में बंद कर दिया गया है. चीन के लोगों की ये चीखें सदियों तक विश्व समुदाय का पीछा करेंगी. कोरोना वायरस चरम की तरफ बढ़ रहा है.भारत को तत्काल तैयारी में जुटना होगा. pic.twitter.com/hZDcxpgpWX— Brajesh Misra (@brajeshlive) February 7, 2020
Find the archive of the tweet here.
The video is doing the rounds on Facebook with a similar narrative.
BOOM was able to ascertain that the video did not corroborate with the viral claims after a Twitter user pointed out the same. The footage documents the remembrance of whistleblower doctor Wenliang in a unique way as Wuhan residents are under complete house arrest and restricted from venturing out in fear of getting infected.
ऐसा कुछ नही है पत्रकार महोदय,वो लोग किन्ही अन्य कारण से shout कर रहे हैं और लाइट भी बंद कर रखी है । pic.twitter.com/JDj8QhtOjI— Vivek Upadhyay (@drvupt) February 7, 2020
The user referred to a tweet which claims that Wuhan paid homage to the doctor by turning off the lights, switching the flash lights of the phone and whistling collectively for a few minutes. Below is the same tweet.
武汉今晚全市8:55至9:05分悼念李文亮医生、关灯五分钟打开手机与电筒射向天空五分钟。然后开灯集体吹哨5分钟。这是中国历史上空前绝无的悼念仪式！ pic.twitter.com/ITzJ0O0Vlv— 野山 (@naochashu) February 7, 2020
The same video was uploaded to YouTube by Epoch Times, with the caption, "Wuhan City mourns Dr. Li Wenliang, "whistle blower".
According to reports, the footage is part of a call to action by Wuhan residents for an event called 'Tonight, I Whistle Wuhan' that was held on February 7 in memory of Dr Wenliang. Due to restrictions on venture out, residents decided to turn off lights of their homes from 8:55 pm to 9:05 pm, turn on their flashlights and whistle in his memory.
A news bulletin from the Taiwanese news channel, EBC News, corroborated the same. The 1 minute 27 long bulletin is a compilation of footage that shows how the residents of Wuhan remembered the doctor. At the 23 second mark, the same footage is played in the news bulletin.
The description of the video, when roughly translated to English, reads, "Whistler Li Wenliang, who sent a warning message against Wuhan pneumonia, died of the pneumonia in the early morning yesterday because of infection and shocked the society. In the evening of yesterday, the citizens of Wuhan turned off the lights for 5 minutes to mourn, but Li Wenliang's death caused public opinion boiling, the mainland's central government responded quickly, announcing that the investigation team of the National Supervision Committee would go to Wuhan to investigate."
The 2019-nCoV which is claimed to have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China has so far claimed 725 lives. The World Health Organization is arranging a global forum on February 11 and 12 to discuss the virus and come up with solutions to understand and curb the spread of the same.
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