Fake news alert: Is Italy really out of hospital space that beds have been set up on roads?

In the time of the global pandemic, fake news continues to spam our timeline. The latest individual, who is guilty of spreading it is India TV chief Rajat Sharma.

Sharma shared a picture of beds in the middle of the road, with the tweet, "Learn from Italy. No more spaces available in hospital. Please do not step out of your homes for the next 21 days," he tweeted at around 10 pm last night. The tweet, as far as we can see, was retweeted nearly 700 times, but was subsequently deleted by Sharma on Wednesday morning, after people pointed out that the pictures were not from Italy, but actually from Croatia that witnessed an earthquake a couple of days ago.

Screengrab of Rajat Sharma's tweet that was subsequently deleted
Screengrab of Rajat Sharma's tweet that was subsequently deleted

People then began trolling Sharma and accused him of spreading fake news at a time of a pandemic.

Earlier, Croatia experienced a series of aftershocks a day after a strong earthquake caused widespread damage and injured at least 27 people amid a partial coronavirus lockdown of the capital.

Seismologists said Monday at least 38 weaker temblors were felt in Zagreb since a 5.5 magnitude quake struck the capital early Sunday, triggering panic, the evacuation of hospitals and structural damage, including the city's iconic cathedral and other historic buildings.

The strongest aftershock was around noon, measuring 3.7. It sent some people rushing out of their homes into public parks despite earlier warning from authorities against large gatherings in public areas to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever or coughing. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said that 27 people were injured, including 18 seriously; 250 houses were damaged and 59 people had to be housed in temporary shelters after the quake on Sunday.

He also announced new restrictive measures intended to combat the spread of the virus, including a ban on people leaving their homes except to buy food and medicine, seeking medical attention or going to work.

"We are fighting two crises at the same time," Bozinovic said. "One is against the coronavirus and the other is against the consequences of the earthquake." There are 306 confirmed new coronavirus cases confirmed in Croatia as of Monday morning

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