Footage of Covid-19 victim in Indonesia misused in posts about Filipino comedian’s death

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in social media posts that claim it shows someone mourning the death of a popular Filipino comedian who died from Covid-19 in the Philippines. This is false: the footage was actually taken in Indonesia. It has circulated in reports about an Indonesian health worker who died from Covid-19.

The video was posted here on Facebook on September 1, 2021. It has been viewed more than 600,000 times.

It shows three people wearing full personal protective equipment surrounding a covered corpse on a hospital trolley bed.

One man can be seen crouching next to the bed while another person consoles him.

The post claims the video shows "Mahal", referring to the late Filipino comedian Noemi Tesorero.

She died from Covid-19 complications on August 31, 2021, her family announced. Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN reported on her death here.

"...[R.I.P.] MAHAL/MYGZ is having difficulty dealing with 'Mahal's' death", reads the Tagalog-language text overlaid on the clip.

Screenshot of misleading post taken on September 3, 2021

The footage has been shared alongside a similar claim here on Facebook; here, here, and here on YouTube; and here, here and here on TikTok.

The claim, however, is false. The video was in fact taken in Indonesia.

Using the digital verification tool InVID-WeVerify, a reverse image search of the video's keyframes shows identical footage and images were published by Indonesian media outlets.

Kompas, Tribunnews, and SINDOnews reported on the viral video in June 2021.

The Indonesian-language headline for the Tribunnews article translates to English as: "Health worker in Bekasi, who is pregnant with her second child, dies of Covid-19; husband cries as she is taken out".

Bekasi is a city in West Java, Indonesia.

The article states that the video was uploaded on TikTok on June 24, 2021. It quotes the video's owner as saying the health worker who died was a midwife and her grieving husband is a nurse.

The video was taken at the RS Cibitung Medika, a hospital in Bekasi, according to this report.

Additional keyword searches show a copy of the complete TikTok video was uploaded on the official Facebook page of media outlet SURYA Online.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video circulating on social media (L) and the one uploaded by SURYA Online (R):

 

 

A photo taken inside RS Cibitung Medika uploaded by an internet user on Google Maps in 2019 matches objects seen in parts of the TikTok video.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the TikTok video (L) and the photo on Google Maps (R), with similarities circled in red by AFP:

COVID-19