A video has been viewed thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim that it shows bodies being removed from a hospital in Iran during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The claim is false; the video has circulated in reports since at least August 2019 about a funeral procession for pilgrims who died during the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia's Grand Mosque.
The two-minute and 22-second video was published on Facebook here on February 27, 2020. The video has been viewed more than 3,600 times.
Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:
The post's Hindi-language caption translates to English as: "This is a scene outside a hospital in Iran. Please convey this to the people who cannot stay at their homes even these days."
The video was also shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here, here, here and here and on Twitter here, here, here and here. Similar posts in English were published on Facebook here and here and on Twitter here.
The claim is false.
A reverse Google image search using video keyframes extracted with InVID-WeVerify, a video verification tool, found the footage has circulated in reports about the bodies of worshippers who died during Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
A screenshot of the video was published here in an Arabic news report on August 17, 2019, several months before COVID-19 was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
"Beautiful scene, funeral prayer for 58 pilgrims, who died during the pilgrimage in their Ihram (white dress), at the sacred mosque," the report reads.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo published in the media report (L) and the video shared in the misleading Facebook post (R):
More than two million Muslims from across the world travelled to Mecca to participate in Hajj in August 2019, AFP reported here.
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