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


 

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Fighting coronavirus misinformation

Africa Check is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers fighting misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the alliance here.

© Copyright Africa Check 2020. Read our republishing guidelines. You may reproduce this piece or content from it for the purpose of reporting and/or discussing news and current events. This is subject to: Crediting Africa Check in the byline, keeping all hyperlinks to the sources used and adding this sentence at the end of your publication: “This report was written by Africa Check, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the original piece on their website", with a link back to this page.