This video has circulated online since at least 2011 -- years before the COVID-19 pandemic
A video has been viewed hundreds of times in multiple social media posts alongside a claim it shows Chinese Muslims performing a communal Friday prayer in a mosque despite the novel coronavirus pandemic. The claim is false; the video has circulated in reports about Muslims performing a mass prayer at a mosque in the western Chinese city of Xining in 2011, nine years before the novel coronavirus outbreak.
This video has been viewed more than 300 times after it was published on YouTube on February 15, 2020.
Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:
The video’s Indonesian-language title translates to English as: “No fear of the coronavirus Friday prayers in China are packed with participants who spill out to the streets.”
The video’s caption reads: “The current situation in China. Friday prayers are packed with people who spill out to the streets.”
The novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. As of April 1, 2020, COVID-19 has killed at least 40,598 people globally, and infected 823,626 others, according to this WHO report.
Authorities in Jakarta, the epicentre of the outbreak in Indonesia, have decided to limit mass gatherings, including suspending mass prayers at mosques for two weeks, according to this press release issued by the Jakarta governor's office.
The claims are false; the video has circulated online since at least 2011 in reports about Muslims praying in a mosque in the western Chinese city of Xining.
A reverse image search using a keyframe of the clip generated from InVID-WeVerify, a video verification tool, found this video published on YouTube on August 12, 2011, by YouTube user Pavel Rytir.
The video's title reads: “Ramadan in Xining”. The caption reads: “Peace and Love, Sallem all Laikhum”.
Xining is the capital of Qinghai province, in the western part of China.
In the video's comment section, the owner of the YouTube account wrote: “[I] did shoot this video”.
Below is a screenshot comparison between the video in the misleading posts (L) and the 2011 YouTube video (R):
Below is a screenshot comparison between the video in the misleading posts (L) and the photo taken in front of Dongguan Mosque (R). AFP has highlighted similar features in red.