Several photos showing hospital patients stranded in the middle of the street in Croatia after an earthquake, are being passed off as images from Italy, which has overtaken China as a hotbed of the Coronavirus.
BOOM found that the images are from Croatia's capital Zagreb after an earthquake struck on March 22, 2020.
The images are being shared with a misleading caption claiming, "learn from Italy. No more spaces are available in hospitals. Please do not step out of your homes for next 21 days."
Multiple readers sent the images to BOOM's WhatsApp helpline number (7700906111) asking us to verify the claim.
Viral on Facebook
We searched on Facebook with the same caption and found that it was viral with the same spin.
The same set of images were shared by India TV chief Rajat Sharma with the misleading caption in a now-deleted tweet.
Deleted Tweet link
We performed a reverse image search using Google Images and found that the photos are post an earthquake that hit Croatia's capital Zagreb on March 22, 2020.
The earthquake had a magnitude of 5.3 quakes that had caused panic and led to the evacuation of hospitals and widespread damage in the country's capital. A 15-year-old was reported to be in critical condition and 16 other people were injured according to authorities reported Associated Press on March 23, 2020.
It struck during a partial lockdown of the capital because of the Coronavirus outbreak, and one of the reasons people can be spotted with masks in the viral images.
On performing a reverse image search using Google we found that the image on Total Croatia News in an article dated March 22, 2020, titled, "Croatia Earthquake March 2020 Zagreb: 1 Child Critical, Damage Updates (VIDEOS)"
We found the image was taken when mothers carried their newborns on the street after a hospital evacuated in Zagreb, Croatia after the earthquake struck. The photograph was supplied by Zlatan Jankovic and was used in an article by ABC News dated March 22, 2020, with the headline, "Coronavirus lockdown in Croatia's capital of Zagreb hampered by magnitude-5.3 earthquake"
We found that the image was taken from a 19 seconds video that showed people carry incubators for newborn babies as the hospital was evacuated after the earthquake.
FC Dinamo's soccer fans "Bad Blue Boys" are saveing newborn babies from hospital...#earthquake #Croatia#CroatiaEarthquake #Zagreb #zagrebearthquake #badblueboys— Adriana Vukovich (@AdrianaVukovich) March 22, 2020
We found another image taken by AP that shows the road with people carrying incubators for newborn babies.
On performing a reverse image search using Google, we found that the image was shared with a couple of other photos from the earthquake by a Twitter user named Angjelina Ahmeti with the caption, "A destructive 5.4 magnitude #earthquake hit Zagreb, Croatia this morning - the strongest in 140 years!Broken heart It breaks my heart to see the hospitals evacuated like this during #coronavirus with patients and mothers with their newborn babies out in the cold"
A destructive 5.4 magnitude #earthquake hit Zagreb, Croatia this morning - the strongest in 140 years!💔 It breaks my heart to see the hospitals evacuated like this during #coronavirus with patients and mothers with their newborn babies out in the cold 😩 pic.twitter.com/YC6rikESHs— Angjelina👼🏻 (@angjelinaahmeti) March 22, 2020
On searching on Twitter with the keywords 'Zagreb Hospital' we found a tweet by journalist Ian Fraser that had the same image with a link to an article by Vrisak.info, a Croatian news website which that had other pictures from the hospital which was hit by the earthquake in the article.
At the time of writing this story Croatia has reported 442 positive COVID-19 cases and recorded 1 death, according to a real-time data monitor by John Hopkins University.
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