COVID-19 virus has claimed millions of lives around the world, ravaged economies and struck the worst health crisis the world has seen in recent times. Despite the evident danger humanity faces from this dreaded strain of coronavirus, there are some people who are spreading misinformation about COVID-19, going as far as claiming that the entire pandemic is a sham and that face masks are not only ineffective, they also pose a health risk. The truth couldn't be further from such claims. Now a video is going viral on social media of one "doctor" who is encouraging people to ditch face masks and claims COVID-19 is nothing more than a flu.
A viral video of Dr Tarun Kothari, dean of Mumbai's Nair Hospital as the caption claims, is seen making claims about COVID-19 to a group of people surrounding him. As per the users sharing the video on social media groups, the video was shot during a peaceful protest at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi. The video, at least a month old, continues to make the rounds on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
In the video, Dr Kothari can be heard claiming wearing face masks reduces oxygen level in the body, which in turn makes people ill. He can also be heard saying that vaccine is killing more people than COVID-19. Finally, in the viral video, Dr Kothari claims COVID-19 is merely a flu and deaths are extremely unlikely.
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International Business Times came across the video of Dr Tarun Kothari, which is being shared in various social media groups. Upon investigation, we found many red flags not just in the video, but the designation of Dr Kothari. This video has been in circulation since July this year.
Contrary to the caption of the video, Dr Kothari, in July, had clarified to BOOM that he is not associated with Mumbai's BYL Nair Hospital. In fact, he is a radiologist based in Delhi and runs a diagnostic centre called Indo-American Health Care in New Delhi's Paschim Vihar area. His LinkedIn profile says he did his MBBS from Dr Sampurnanand Medical College and MD from Ravindra Nath Tagore Medical College, Udaipur.
As for the sensational claims made by Dr Kothari in the viral video, none of them are backed by scientific evidence.
No, wearing face mask does not reduce oxygen level in the body. In fact, World Health Organisation recommends wearing face mask to control the spread of the virus.
No, vaccine isn't killing people. India's cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has crossed 72 crore landmark milestone. There's no evidence to prove that vaccine is killing people, except for one case where a person died due to anaphylaxis after getting the jab.
As for the claim about COVID-19 being a simple flu, COVID is caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus whereas seasonal flu is the work of influenza virus. Flu has a mortality rate of 0.1 percent, much lower than that of COVID, which is above 2 percent.
Based on these facts, IBTimes has arrived at the conclusion that COVID claims made by Dr Tarun Kothari are false and baseless. Moreover, he is not the dean of Mumbai's Nair Hospital.