FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show The Day Local Service Resumed At An Indian Train Station During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a large crowd at a train station in Kolkata, India, on Nov. 19 after the local train service resumed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Verdict: False

The video dates back to at least 2018. The Eastern Railway said the video is old and not related to the recent resumption of local train services.

Fact Check:

Multiple Facebook users have shared the video claiming it shows a large crowd, seemingly violating social distancing guidelines, as it gathered at the Dumdum Junction railway station in Kolkata on Nov. 19 for the resumption of local train services. The local train services under the Eastern Railway’s jurisdiction halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but resumed in November, according to The Economic Times.

“On the Reopening Day of Local Train Service Yesterday (19/11/20) at Dum Dum Raiway (sic) Station After 8 Months of Lockdown and Shutdown of Train Service,” reads the caption of one such video. “What About the Spreading Mode of Covid-19 to Them is Not Known!”

The verified Eastern Railway Twitter account debunked the claim that the video shows the recent return of train services in a Nov. 13 tweet. (RELATED: Did The CDC Admit In This Document That ‘There Is No COVID-19’?)

“This is very old & misleading,” the Eastern Railway tweeted. “Not pertaining to present time. Not pertaining to restoration of EMU services also. Everyone is requested to stop spreading of such misinformation.”

Indeed, the video has been circulating online since at least 2018, predating the COVID-19 pandemic. The same video was posted on YouTube in September 2018 with a caption saying it showed the Ranaghat train station north of Kolkata.

Ravi Mahapatra, a public relations officer for Eastern Railway, confirmed to AFP in 2018 that the video shows the Ranaghat station.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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