No, video of drowned migrants on Libyan coast, not ‘Covid-19 infected’ bodies thrown in sea

Warning: This report links to a disturbing video.

A graphic video showing dozens of dead bodies washed onto a beach has been making the rounds on Facebook.

“Some countries throw Covid19 infected dead bodies into the seas,” text in the video reads. “Advice to stop eating seafood. The World is really coming to an end.”

Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has claimed at least 160,000 lives across the world so far.

Does the video really show the bodies of Covid-19 victims? We checked.

Drowned migrants on Libyan coast

We took a screenshot of a frame from the video and ran it through a TinEye reverse image search. This led us to an article on the Arabic-language website Arabi21, dated 26 August 2014.

The headline, translated with Google Translate, reads: “African migrants lost as their boat sinks.”

According to the article, Libyan navy spokesperson Ayoub Kassem said that a boat carrying about 170 illegal immigrants had sunk off the Libyan coast. The navy was able to rescue 17 of the immigrants but the other 153 were still missing.

The African migrants were reportedly headed to Europe when their boat sank off the coast of Libya, in August 2014. The new coronavirus outbreak began more than five years later, in December 2019.

The video does not show “Covid-19 infected bodies” thrown into the sea. – Grace Gichuhi


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