Many people are sharing a post on social media that tells the story of “Dr. Aisha,” a woman who supposedly died from COVID-19. The story trended in India, in particular, where people reacted with heartbreak to the tale.
However, it is now believed to be a hoax. It was an elaborate one; Dr. Aisha actually had a Twitter page, and she posted what looked like a hospital selfie. She revealed she had tested positive for COVID-19 and a later post stated that she had died. The selfie showing Dr. Aisha and revealing her COVID-19 battle was posted on July 31, 2020. This was followed by another post showing a picture purportedly of Dr. Aisha in a hospital bed.
“Haya friends not coping with covid 19. Going to be hooked up to the ventilator sometime today. Remember me, my smile to you. Thank U 4 Ur friendship. Will miss Ull. Be safe take this deadly virus seriously. Luv u guys. Bye,” the first selfie read as it was shared by the Twitter page Dr. Aisha @Aisha_must_sayz.
According to The Print, a person named Dr. Amarinder Malhi then tweeted that Dr. Aisha had died.
“Dr Aisha was recently qualified as a doctor; celebrated her birthday on July 17 & bid farewell to this world on Eid yesterday with this glorious smile. Her family members were handed a sealed coffin due to the COVID virus. A life gone too soon. Sincere condolences!” he wrote.
But, the site and others say, it was all fake.
Here’s what you need to know:
It Turned Out That the Image of ‘Dr. Aisha’ in the Hospital Bed Was Actually an Old Stock Image
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) August 2, 2020
The best give away that the Dr. Aisha story is fake: One of the pictures used is an old stock image of someone else.
According to The Print, the photo that supposedly showed Dr. Aisha in a hospital bed with COVID-19 was “in fact a stock image regularly used by several websites since 2017.” That didn’t stop news sites from picking up the Dr. Aisha story, and it trended on Twitter in India before being outed as a hoax, the site reported.
After this fact was discovered, the Dr. Aisha Twitter page was deleted.
Journalist Nidhi Razdan wrote on Twitter: “Have deleted a previous tweet about a Dr Aisha. Turns out the account was fake! You have to be really sick to pretend to have COVID.”
Have deleted a previous tweet about a Dr Aisha. Turns out the account was fake ! You have to be really sick to pretend to have COVID
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) August 2, 2020
India Today also noted of the stock image, “Another very noticeable argument is that if the patient supposedly had Covid-19, why isn’t the doctor wearing a PPE.” The site also noted that the Twitter page gave its location as South Africa but hadn’t tweeted anything about that country. The site believes the hospital photo actually shows a girl in Kamareddy, Telangana, India.
Been a few hours. Wrote so many other threads. Still haven't closed the Dr Aisha early days tweets tab. So here's next batch. pic.twitter.com/3iXu0sTC9Z
— #DestroyTheAadhaar #BanDigitalElections #DefeatCIA (@Stupido_Bot1) August 2, 2020
Another post emerged that was supposedly from Dr. Aisha’s sister, Dr. Sarkar, according to India Today.
Tributes Flowed to Dr. Aisha From People Not Realizing It’s a Hoax
Dr Aisha’s last message ..😢😢
Haya friends not coping with covid 19. Going to be hooked up to the ventilator sometime today. Remember me, my smile to you. Thank U 4 Ur frndshp.Will miss Ull. Be safe take this deadly virus seriously. Luv u guys.
She passed away yesterday pic.twitter.com/kpvGRAaCZd
— ρяιи¢є α∂иαи (@MohdAdnan05) August 2, 2020
Many people fell for the Dr. Aisha hoax as concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic continue across the globe.
Here are some examples of the tributes being shared to “Dr. Aisha.”
Rest in Peace Dr Aisha 💐💐🙏 pic.twitter.com/53IpPdwIQP
— Mamta patel (@fighterMamta) August 2, 2020
RIP Dr Aisha 💐😌 pic.twitter.com/5xX00j3ZOd
— MaNiRaThNaM (@manirathnam147) August 2, 2020