Fact Check: Did actors pose as Covid patients in Australian hospital?

A video of the Australian TV show `Media Watch’ is viral on social media. Users claim that the show revealed how actors posed as Covid-19 patients in a hospital in Sydney.

By Sabya Singh  Published on  22 Oct 2021 7:30 AM GMT
Fact Check: Did actors pose as Covid patients in Australian hospital?

Hyderabad: A video of the Australian TV show `Media Watch' is viral on social media. Users claim that the show revealed how actors posed as Covid-19 patients in a hospital in Sydney.

"Why do they need actors for this stuff…maybe ask yourselves that question?" reads part of a Facebook post.


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Fact Check:

The claim is misleading.

NewsMeter extracted the keyframes using the Invid tool and performed a reverse image search, the team found a longer version of the video. It is an episode of 'Media watch', an Australian TV show that covers the news industry. It is hosted by Paul Barry.


https://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/

https://twitter.com/TheRealPBarry?ref_src=twsrc

When we watched the full video, Barry went on to debunk claims that the people in the video were actors. Two minutes into the video, the host is heard saying that the patients are not 'crisis actors.'

Social media posts claimed that Ramona was in fact an actor called Ramona Khoury. Users also referred to a picture of a similar-looking woman on a talent website.

However, Barry pointed to a media release from New South Wales Health which named the woman as 30-year-old pharmacy worker Ramona El-Nachar -- not Ramona Khoury.

https://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/sydneyconnect/story-Patients-share-heartbreaking-COVID-19-stories.html

In another case, users claimed that the patient is an actor who has featured in the NSW Health campaign `Mitch Garling', also found on Star Now. Users accused him of pretending to suffer from Covid-19. However, Media watch played an Instagram video where the actor debunked the claim. He said he didn't pose as 35-year-old patient Osama Ahmad.

"Look, I am an actor, but I am not pretending to have Covid. Not that. It doesn't even look like me, he has a beard, that's it," Garling says during the video.

A screenshot of an image comparison featured in the Media Watch segment showing Ramona El-Nachar (L) and Ramona Khoury (R).


"It has been highly distressing for Dr. Morgan and the patients to see their powerful messages undermined by these baseless and dangerous accusations and to have their credibility questioned," Chief Executive Sydney Local Health District told Media Watch.


Hence, the claim is misleading. The clip has been edited.

Claim Review:Video revealed how actors posed as COVID-19 patients in a hospital in Sydney.
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:Misleading
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