The Claim and Our Verdict
- The claim: A Facebook post published Feb. 11, 2022, claims that a photo shows healthcare workers from mainland China ready to help Hong Kong tackle a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
- In fact, the photo shared in the post was taken in Bao’an District, Shenzhen, in early 2022, when medical workers were fighting against a local coronavirus outbreak. The photo makes no reference to Hong Kong’s fifth wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
- The photo was taken at the crossroad of Shiyan Avenue and Yucai Road, Bao’an District, Shenzhen, not in Chongqing as claimed by Today Review, a Hong Kong local media organization.
- Our ruling: We rate the claim as FALSE.
A photo was shared Feb. 11, 2022, on Facebook, along with a claim that it shows medical workers from mainland China ready to help Hong Kong tackle a new wave of the coronavirus outbreak. The caption, written in traditional Chinese, translates as, “Really appreciate the strong support from our country.” The photo attached shows rows of people dressed in white biological protective clothing and features green text that reads, “Well equipped and ready to save Hong Kong.”
According to the Hong Kong government news website, four epidemiological experts from mainland China arrived in Hong Kong on Feb. 17, 2022, to help the city tackle the worsening situation of the fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. On the same day mainland authorities sent several testing technicians and two mobile testing vehicles to Hong Kong. They visited the dedicated coronavirus laboratory at the Ma On Shan Sports Centre and conducted technical exchanges to help Hong Kong enhance its testing capacities. A news article published Feb. 19 claims that China’s central government sent four experts in critical care medicine and 110 nucleic acid testing personnel to Hong Kong to participate in the anti-pandemic work.
Today Review, a Hong Kong local online media, also published a fact check, claiming that the photo was taken in Chongqing at the time when the city was fighting against a local coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
As of the issuance of this report, the Facebook post had been shared eight times, and had received five comments and 52 likes or reactions.
Reverse image searches found the same photo was shared in a press release published Feb. 11, 2022, by the official website of United Front Task Force, Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC (“Shenzhen United Front”). Below are the screenshots comparisons between the photo shared in the claim and the one shared in the Shenzhen United Front’s article, with corresponding building and environment features outlined in red. The article claims that this photo shows medical workers helping to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Shenzhen on Jan. 31, 2022.
A video reporting the same event was published Feb. 6, 2022, by Shenzhen News. A Shenzhen News article claims that the medical workers in biological protective suits were helping control the coronavirus pandemic in a community in Shenzhen and supporting local residents.
According to the Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission, Shenzhen reported one confirmed COVID-19 case on Jan. 21 and three on Feb. 1, 2022. Activities of all people considered to have contact with three of the infected people were mainly traced to Shiyan and Bantian Streets. The local coronavirus prevention and control office announced Feb. 4, 2022, that the lockdown, control and prevention areas in Shiyan District would be rearranged effective Feb. 4, 2022.
A search on Baidu maps found that a restaurant and a building shown in the above footage and photos are actually in Bao’an District, Shenzhen. After a comparison with the street view of this area, we can confirm the photos were taken at the crossroad of Shiyan Avenue and Yucai Road.
Therefore, the photo shared in the claim was taken in early 2022 in Shenzhen, showing mainland healthcare workers combating a local coronavirus pandemic outbreak. It makes no reference to the fifth wave coronavirus pandemic outbreak in Hong Kong. The “fact check” published by Today Review is also false because this photo was not taken in Chongqing.
Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
- Facebook post, Feb. 11, 2022.
- gov.hk, “Hong Kong welcomes Mainland experts,” Feb. 17, 2022.
- gov.hk, “CE thanks central govt support,” Feb. 19, 2022.
- Facebook post, Feb. 12, 2022.
- United Front Task Force, Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC, “Shenzhen’s business sector puts its efforts into the fight against pandemic,” Feb. 11, 2022.
- Shenzhen News, “Life in Shiyan, Shenzhen under lockdown,” Feb. 6. 2022.
- Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission, “Shenzhen reports three new confirmed COVID-19 cases,” Feb. 1, 2022.
- Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission, “Lockdown area in Shiyan, Bao’an District,” Feb. 4, 2022.
- Baidu maps.
- HKSAR Government Press Releases, “Remarks by Hong Kong Chief Executive at media session, Shenzhen Bay Control Point,” Feb. 17, 2022.