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Video of woman waiting for hospital bed, not Covid-19 patient discovered alive in morgue

“Can you believe this?” asks the description of a video shared on Facebook. It shows an elderly woman lying on a hospital bed covered by what seems to be a plastic body bag.

“Doctors told the family that she died from covid-19. They didn’t believe it so they barged in the morgue of the hospital to see for themselves. They unzipped the body bag and found her still alive.”

The video, posted on 10 May 2020, has been viewed more than 40,000 times and shared 1,900 times more, including in South Africa. The description does not say where or when it was recorded. 

Did the family of a coronavirus patient find her alive in a morgue after doctors had told them she was dead? We checked. 

Woman waiting for hospital bed

A Google search reveals that the video is from Brazil. 

BBC Brasil investigated and published a report on the video on 15 May. Local authorities told the BBC that the woman had not been declared dead and sent to the morgue. 

The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, was taken to the Hospital Abelardo Santos in Belém, Brazil on 5 May because she was experiencing severe shortness of breath and weakness

She was waiting for a bed to become available, as the hospital was overcrowded with Covid-19 patients. It is unclear whether she had Covid-19. 

The director of the hospital told the BBC that the woman was placed on a bag so she could be moved from one stretcher to another, a procedure usually done with a sheet.

The video was recorded by her daughter who said that she sent it to her brother so he could see how their mother was doing. The Brazilian police are now investigating how the video was leaked and who was responsible for spreading the false story. – Naledi Mashishi


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