A viral video showing the body bags, having bodies of those who died due to COVID-19, lying across the floor in a New York City hospital, is found to be fake. The video which went viral on the social media sites is from Ecuador.
New York recorded its deadliest death rate since the coronavirus outbreak with 731 new deaths in the last 24 hours. The city now crosses the 4,000-death mark, which is way over the number of deaths in the 9/11 attacks.
Body bag carries the name of a person from Ecuador
A person wearing a blue coloured medic suit is walking around the body bags lying on the floor, recording the scene. The video which is shared online by the social media users carries the caption: "From one -ONE- hospital in New York. And still some people just won't take this seriously.
Another version comes with a caption: "Situation in a New York hospital...Full of dead bodies.. to all those who still haven't understood the lockdown importance."
The video is believed to be in circulation since the beginning of this month. The video was widely circulated on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, with captions written in English, French and Spanish. In some instances, the users sharing the 45-second clip also suggested that it was indeed shot at Manhattan-based Lenox Hill hospital.
However, on a closer inspection of the video, one of the body bags was found to be named 'Zambrano Loor GIlbert'. According to Boom Live, the clip was from Ecuador and Zambrano Loor GIlbert' was an Ecuadorian citizen.
Furthermore, a Spanish fact-checking website Maldita.es revealed that the hospital shown in the video is located at Guayaquil, Ecuador. The Association of Real Estate Brokers of Guayas (ACBIR) had posted a condolence letter on their Facebook page, mourning the death of Zambrano Loor Gilbert, on March 21 this year. However, the post has been removed now.
Medical authorities criticise the circulation of fake clips
Some tricksters have added another clip to the video which shows a truck trailer parked in the street believed to be carrying dead bodies. In a statement issued to AFP, Margarita Oksenkrug, media relations director for Northwell Health, which runs Lenox Hill hospital said that clip is not from the Lenox Hill hospital.
"This video starts out with a shot of a trailer that is parked outside Lenox Hill Hospital which was provided to us and all New York City hospitals by the NYC Office of Emergency Management in order to provide temporary morgue space during this unprecedented health crisis that has challenged healthcare facilities across the world," Oksenkrug.
"The part of the video that details the morgue space is absolutely not taken inside Lenox Hill Hospital's morgue or in the trailer outside of our hospital. Our morgue is locked and guarded by security at all times. We find it absolutely appalling that someone would use this unprecedented global crisis to spread such abhorrent misinformation," said the statement further.