Hyderabad: A purported news article by News18 is viral on social media with the claim that 57 parents and grandparents of students who appeared for an exam in Karnataka passed away after over 5,000 students tested positive for COVID-19.
A twitter user wrote, "Sir please look at this. 57 deaths and 5371 students affected. Is this the way of learning lessons and playing with our and our parent's life? Answer sir, please answer. Support the future of the nation. You are the fourth pillar of democracy. We have faith in our media. https://t.co/s5ib9kA0JO(sic)".
National Vice President of All India Students' Association (AISA) Ashutosh Kumar also tweeted: "This is what happened when only 80,000 candidates appeared for exams all over India. Just think when 28 Lac students will be appearing what will be the condition! Still, they say students cannot decide their welfare. #ProtestAgainstExamsInCOVID." (archived link)
This claim is false.
Newsmeter performed a keyword search and no such piece of news by News18 or by other media organizations was reported.
In addition to this, the alleged news article has grammatical errors that a leading media outlet would not make. The abbreviation of 'Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka Under Graduate Entrance Test' is 'COMEDK UGET' not 'COMDEK' UGET. The word 'quarantined' is misspelled as 'qurantined'. COVID-19 is neither written in the upper case nor has a hyphen, the words 'on fire' don't have space in between them and the use of the uppercase in the middle of a sentence indicates that the screenshot is fake.
In Ashutosh Kumar's tweet, another news article by NDTV is added. Newsmeter performed a keyword search and found that this article was published by NDTV on 31 July 2020. It is about the Karnataka Common Entrance Test (CET) and has nothing to do with the COMEDK examinations that were conducted on August 19, 2020.
Thus, the claim by the alleged news article by NEWS18 is false.