A video of dead bodies washed ashore is making rounds on social media with the claim that bodies of those who died of coronavirus are being thrown into the sea. There is also an advisory not to eat seafood as coronavirus is likely to be waterborne due to throwing of dead bodies into the sea.
Here is the truth about this video that adds to the list of fake news being shared during the pandemic. First, let us see what the person who shared the video claims exactly. Dev Oza in his Twitter account posted the video with the caption: "Some countries throw #COVID19 infected dead bodies into the seas. Advice to stop eating seafood. The World is really coming to an end. Dear God, please intervene." Currently, the tweet has been deleted. Here is the screengrab of the video posted by Dev Oza.
Shortly this was taken on face value and people started reacting to it with messages like: "In this case, This virus will spread to Waterborne animal and even now the animals are also infected in zoo also, God Save Them."
A message in Hindi reads that there is a need for the world to adapt Indian way of performing last rites (referring to cremation). The replies section also has many people reacting as 'True.'
But the fact is that the video has nothing to do with coronavirus. It is an old video of African immigrants who died as their boat collapsed on the shore of the Libyan sea. The video can be found on Youtube that was posted on June 19, 2019, with the caption: Mediterranean Sea Becomes A Cemetery For African Immigrants.
AltNews was the first to break this as fake news after finding the original video with the right information. So, the video being falsely spread in connection with coronavirus is of African immigrants who were trying to cross into Europe, when their boat collapsed and they were washed on the shore of Libyan beach.
Video of African immigrants?
The video was shared by Godspower Oshodin with the description: "Mediterranean Sea is fast becoming a cemetery for African immigrants. More Africans are perishing in the deep blue sea daily. The immigrants are risking their lives in the deadliest voyage to cross into Europe in search of greener pastures. The number of black Africans dead in the sea surpassed those who died during the infamous slave trade era of the 19 century.
It's heartbreaking to see images of dead Africans brought to the shoreline of the sea as captured above. Africa is the richest continent pregnant with rich mineral resources but our people are dying in the sea daily because of rat race to Europe to make a living of menial jobs!!! Africa must rise to stop the dangerous trans Mediterranean voyage to save the black race from this catastrophic consequences of early death!"
But further check showed that the same footage was shared by Euronews on August 25, 2014. The description states that "Amid tragic scenes on a Libyan beach, bodies of would-be migrants have been washed ashore. More than 100 have been recovered by the Libyan authorities. They are thought to be from a shipwreck at sea last week. One member of the coast guard said dozens more bodies could still turn up. In the absence of documentation, rescue workers are unable to make a list of the victims or establish their nationalities."
Thus the video is of immigrants who lost their lives while crossing into Europe from Libya and has nothing to do with coronavirus. Reports claim that the major portion of African migration is funnelled through Libya. Many migrants choose Libya to escape across the Mediterranean Sea as it is considered as a purgatory region.
After then prime minister Muammar Gaddafi's assassination, Libya's 1,100-mile coastline has effectively become an open border without proper government authorities to monitor inflow and outflow of people. Thus, in the absence of government monitoring, smugglers have taken over the region (illegally), and are sending the immigrants to the European nations through Libyan sea route, especially to Italy.