FALSE: Photos of ‘coronavirus patients in Italy’ on the streets


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FALSE: Photos of ‘coronavirus patients in Italy’ on the streets
The photos are from the aftermath of the 5.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Croatia on March 22

Claim: Coronavirus patients in Italy are now on the streets because hospitals are no longer able to accommodate them.

The claim made the rounds on Facebook with varying details and photos attached. One post read: “Italian scenario! Ganito ba ang gusto ninyong mangyari sa Pilipinas? Nasa bangketa at kalsada na ang mga COVID-19 victims! (Is this what you want to happen to the Philippines? Coronavirus victims are now on the streets and roads!)”

Another post had the caption, “This is Italy. There is no more space in the hospitals. Think twice before you put your foot outside the house.”

The photos showed groups of hospital patients and their beds out on the streets. Some posts also included a photo of men bringing incubators outside.

Thai media outlet NationTV also used 4 of these photos, claiming that the hospitals in Italy are not enough to accommodate coronavirus patients.

Facebook Claim Check, a monitoring tool that detects posts with potentially false information, flagged multiple posts containing this claim.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The photos were taken in the aftermath of the 5.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Croatia on March 22.

The photo of a cluster of female patients was supplied by Zlatan Jankovic for an abc.net.au article. The caption read: “New mothers were evacuated from a maternity ward in Zagreb following the earthquake.”

According to the article, the mothers were in a parking lot after being evacuated from a damaged maternity hospital.

As for NationTV’s report, Italian Ambassador to Thailand Lorenzo Galanti refuted NationTV’s use of the photos, saying they were taken from the earthquake in Croatia.

“It is regrettable that visual information offered by this media outlet is misleading, giving the false impression that Italy’s health system has collapsed, which is far from true,” Galanti said in his Facebook post.

Meanwhile, the photo of a group of men bringing out incubators captured the ultras group Bad Blue Boys helping out at a hospital damaged by the earthquake. The photo was taken by journalist Dea Redzic for Index Vijesti.

The global tally of coronavirus cases rose to 715,204 with 33,568 deaths as of Monday, March 30. Italy recorded 92,472 cases and 10,023 deaths as of Sunday. (READ: Italy’s ‘very long’ lockdown to only end gradually– Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com

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