Several photos of people covered in blankets sitting on the roadside, hospital patients carrying babies and groups of people pushing incubators with babies inside are going viral as from Italy.
Many people have shared these photos on social media claiming that they show the havoc coronavirus has wreaked on Italy’s healthcare system, forcing people on the streets.
“This is Italy. There is no more space in the hospitals. Think twice before you put your foot outside the house,” the viral message accompanying the photos reads.
Many others shared the same post on Facebook.
Postcard News co-founder Mahesh Hegde and Akali Dal spokesperson Manjinder Singh Sirsa also shared the same photos without any context, making it seem that this had happened because of the effect of coronavirus.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claim with the pictures is false. While these photos are both real and recent, they are actually from Croatia’s capital Zagreb, which was rocked by a powerful earthquake on 22 March.
The earthquake left one teenager and sixteen other people injured, including another minor who was badly hurt, and the 5.3 magnitude quake caused fires and power blackouts in parts of the capital, Reuters reported.
This came amid the lockdown in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
WHAT WE FOUND
On conducting a reverse search on the photos, we found many people on Twitter saying that they were from Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, in the aftermath of the earthquake.
On looking through news reports, we found that Croatia suffered a strong earthquake on Sunday which caused panic, the evacuation of hospitals and widespread damage including to the capital's iconic cathedral, amid the partial coronavirus lockdown, according to Al Jazeera.
Marijana Petir, the Republic of Croatia’s representative in the European Parliament, took to Twitter in the aftermath of the quake to share some photos and pray for the country.
Two of these photos – the women carrying their babies and the men with incubators – are among those that are viral as Italy.
Martin & Valent Sinković, two athlete brothers from Croatia also shared more photos, including the above two.
Moreover, we found all the viral photos in the below post on Twitter, which also said that they were from Zagreb.
On looking for the photos in news reports, we found some results.
We found the above photo in a news report by ABC, which stated that the photo showed new mothers being evacuated from a maternity ward in Zagreb.
We found many tweets saying that the Bad Blue Boys, an ultras group which support the Croatian football club GNK Dinamo Zagreb and Futsal Dinamo, helped move incubators after the earthquake.
We also found a video of the same on Twitter and one on the news website The Independent.
We also found a similar photo on Associated Press.
We found the same photo on Croatian news website Total Croatia News.
We found this photo in a news article about the quake by a website called Vrisak.info that was shared on Twitter by author and journalist Ian Fraser.
Therefore, it is clear that the photos are not from Italy at all, but from Croatia, and shows the effect not of coronavirus but an earthquake. However, that is not to say that Croatia is not feeling the effects of COVID-19. As of 27 March, Croatia has 495 positive cases in total and three deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. The country is also under partial lockdown, according to news reports.
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