A street vendor poses as he arranges facemasks to sell on the roadside as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus on the outskirts of Hyderabad on June 5, 2020. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM / AFP) (AFP / Noah Seelam)

Video of Indian health minister slapping non-mask wearers? It's a Pakistani TV programme

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A video of a man slapping people who are not wearing face masks has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter and Weibo alongside claims that it shows the Indian health minister taking action during the Covid-19 pandemic. The claim is false; the footage has been taken from a Pakistani TV programme.

The 15-second video was published on Weibo here on August 11, 2020. It has been viewed more than 439,000 times.

Screenshot taken on August 28, 2020, of the misleading Weibo post

The post’s simplified Chinese caption translates as: “(Repost) India fighting COVID-19: Simple and rough! Indian health minister directly slapped those who didn't wear masks on the street...”

The video was also shared alongside similar claims on Facebook here, here and here and on Twitter here, here and here.

The claim is false.

A keyword search found that the same footage was published on YouTube here by Pakistani TV channel 24 News HD on July 24, 2020.

The corresponding scene can be seen at the video's five-minute and 23-second mark.

The YouTube video’s Urdu language headline translates to English in part as: “Jani's last resort way of making the public wear mask, slaps and jibes!!”.

Below is a screenshot of the misleading video (L) and the 24 News HD video (R):

Screenshot of the misleading video (L) and the 24 News HD video (R)

Around the video’s 17-second mark, the man holding the microphone can be heard making remarks in Urdu language, which translate as: “Asslam-o-Alaikum viewers I am Sajjad Jani and with me is Faisal Raamay in police getup. Today we will guide people about masks and will see who is wearing a mask and those who are not wearing a mask, we will give him a mask and the policeman will also snub them. Come with us.”