A tweet in Bahasa Indonesia shared a video in early June that shows a woman in a medical hazmat suit crying aloud and mourning over someone’s death in Mandarin Chinese in front of what appears to be a hospital.
She is supported by two other individuals who also wear protective gear. A film crew is seen moving around the three of them, recording what is going on.
The tweet claimed, when translated to English, that millions of people were deceived into believing COVID-19 is real, implying tragic stories like the one depicted in the video were staged and not true. It has been shared about 700 times and the video has almost 44,000 views.
The same video has also been posted on Bitchute with the title “[IT’S ALL LIES] CHINA: ACTOR OF THE CRISIS,” along with hashtags #vaccine and #genocide. The clip was also viewed and shared across other social media platforms such as Telegram and Reddit.
The claim, however, is false. This video shows the filming of a Chinese drama based on real-life events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Annie Lab geolocated the area where this particular clip was shot and found out that it was filmed at Eastern Greenland Hospital in Kunshan, China.
Through keyword search, we found the exact same video on Douyin posted on April 19, 2020, with a Chinese caption that reads, “Wearing the full set of personal protective equipment for the whole day during the shooting and all sealed up. [I] almost couldn’t breathe. Feel deeply for the laborious work of the warriors in white.”
In another video showing the same scene from a different angle, the uploader wrote in Chinese, “As an actor, acting an important role in an anti-pandemic drama really has a profound impact. I totally feel connected with the plot!”
The account owner, Jin Jin (金金), described herself as one of the actors playing the role of a medical practitioner in an anti-pandemic drama.
She said in a recent post on Kuaishou, another video-based social media platform in China, that the drama was recreating a scene of a real-life event.
According to the caption, she played a doctor who was mourning her husband, a fellow doctor who died fighting the pandemic in the story.
She also posted clips showing other scenes of the COVID-19-themed drama on the same Douyin account.
Annie Lab contacted Jin Jin on June 9, 2022, through a live chat. She told us that the filming of this drama has been completed, although it is not yet released to the public.
Multiple Chinese dramas related to COVID-19 have been produced and shown before.
Some like Chinese Doctors (中國醫生) focused on the stories of frontline medical workers in Wuhan where the first COVID-19 case was identified in December 2019.
China has adopted the “zero-COVID” strategy since the outbreak of the pandemic by conducting mass testing and imposing lockdowns to keep its coronavirus cases and death toll low.
However, the country has reported a surge in the number of new domestic cases in March 2022. Its economic hub Shanghai was hit particularly hard and the two-month lockdown in the city made headlines globally until it was lifted earlier this month.