Cairn hits back at fake Coronavirus video clip

Vol 23, PW 11 (09 Apr 20) Exploration & Production

Fake news, it seems, can spread faster than the Coronavirus.

Cairn is learning this the hard way and has hit back against a misleading video purporting to show its employees eating food together at Barmer, violating social distancing norms. This report learns the video went viral in the last week of March, immediately after the announcement of a three-week lockdown on March 24.

"The video itself was not fake, but it was an old video showing people eating together," a Cairn source tells us. "It was the caption that was misleading, saying Cairn staff ate food in a canteen violating government social distancing measures."

The one minute, 30-second video shows a dining hall with people seated close to each other, eating. Also seen is a queue of people standing close to each other with plates to hand at the serving counter.

Cairn was initially caught off guard as the video spread like wildfire on social media platforms and launched an investigation after police contacted the company. "We found the video was several weeks old and filmed at the Weatherford base camp showing (Weatherford) staff eating together," adds our Cairn source.

"Somebody was trying to play a prank or defame us." When contacted, Barmer superintendent of police Anand Sharma told this report: "We concluded a detailed investigation which reveals the video was shot in early February, long before the lockdown was in place."