The novel Coronavirus has undoubtedly affected the lives of Italians the most with the death toll rising to 12,428, the highest so far from a single country. Now, several posts stating money is not enough when health is in danger, have started doing the rounds on social media accompanied by a few photos showing currencies lying scattered on the streets. The pictures are going viral claiming to be captured from Italy with more and more Coronavirus cases are being reported day by day.
"In Italy they throw their money on the streets. A clear message to the whole world is that money is not enough when health be in danger," reads the viral message that is doing the rounds on Facebook and Whatsapp with the photos.
The message that is being shared by many is, however, fake and not related to the Coronavirus pandemic as these pictures surfaced online way back in 2019. The pictures were taken in Venezuela in March 2019, no where in Italy. The cash notes seen lying on the streets is Venezuela's old currency, the Bolívar Fuerte.
It is understood that people in Venezuela threw their old notes, Bolívar Fuerte, blaming socialism as they became worthless after it was replaced by a new form of currency, the Bolivar Soberano, in August 2018. "This is a street in Venezuela. That's money in the gutter. It's worthless. Welcome to socialism," reads one of the popular Facebook posts shared in March 2019.
A verified Twitter user Prof Steve Hanke had also shared one of these pictures in April 2019 stating it as Venezuelan Bolivars left as trash. According to reports, the new currency is worth 100,000 old Bolivares.
Another tweet on March 2019 claims that the incident happened after people left the Venezuelan bolivars on the streets to prove it is worthless. Some people apparently looted the Bicentenario bank agency on Avenida 3, Glorias Patrias, in the state of Mérida. According to some old reports, the people also burned down the scattered piles of old currencies in the streets.
"Yesterday there was the looting of a bicentennial bank in the city of Mérida, near the Plaza Glorias Patrias. Looters set fire to a pile of bolivars in addition to leaving many bills on the ground," reads the translated text of the tweet.
Though we are unable to independently verify which claim is right, it can be confirmed that these pictures that are going viral on social media are not associated with the viral messages that state Italians are throwing money on the streets due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.