This video has circulated in reports about people queuing for masks in Singapore after the novel coronavirus outbreak
A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook alongside a claim that it shows people queuing to buy Halal food at a mall in Singapore. The video has been shared in a misleading context; it has previously circulated in media reports about people queuing for face masks in Singapore after the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The 49-second video was published here on Facebook on February 9, 2020. It has been viewed more than 23,000 times and shared more than 740 times.
Below is the screenshot of the misleading post:
The post’s caption, written in a combination of Malay and Thai language, translates to English as: “Singaporean people queued up to find Halal food at Mustafa Centre, they don’t dare to eat non-halal food anymore.”
Mustafa Centre is a large department store in the district of Little India in Singapore, famous for operating 24 hours a day.
The video has been shared in a misleading context; it actually shows people queuing around the Mustafa Centre building for face masks following the novel coronavirus outbreak.
A Google reverse image search combined with a keyword search found this article headlined: “Queue for masks at Mustafa going ridiculously strong for at least 2 straight days” on the website of the Singaporean news outlet Mothership SG.
The first two lines of the report, published on February 8, 2020, read: "Masks and sanitisers are now short in supply in Singapore, due to the coronavirus outbreak. While major pharmacies and supermarkets appear to be out of stock, Mustafa, the place that sells everything, still has supplies."
Below is a screenshot of the Mothership SG article:
The report on a nationwide shortage of masks hand sanitisers included this earlier version of the same video seen in the misleading posts. The video has been embedded below.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and a Mothership SG photo (R), with identifiable structures circled in red by AFP:
The long queues outside Mustafa Centre have also been reported in local media. In this January 28, 2020 report by English-language newspaper The Strait Times, it states “more than a hundred customers” queued outside Mustafa Centre on January 28 to buy face masks as demand surged amid the coronavirus outbreak.
As of February 18, 2020, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 2,000 people and infected at least 74,000 others in China alone. It has also infected hundreds more abroad, as reported here by AFP.
This article was updated on March 3, 2020 to clarify that the misleading post was written partially in Malay language.