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People in Italy have thrown all of their money on the streets saying that it cannot save them from death due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Pictures of Venezuelan bolívars on the streets of Mérida from March 2019 have been falsely shared as pictures from Italy during the 2020 pandemic.

The viral images of currency notes littered on the streets have been shared on social media, for example on Facebook, claiming that Italians have thrown away their money on the streets because it was useless and that it could not save them from death due to the coronavirus.

On reverse image search, we found an article by a local Venezuelan news outlet called Maduradas published on 12 March 2019, which states that hooded people looted the Bicentennial bank agency in the Venezuelan town of Mérida and scattered old currency notes (bolívars) which were demonetized in 2018. It also includes a series of images showing streets of Mérida littered with old notes, along with the viral images claiming to be from Italy. Those images were also shared on Twitter and image sharing websites Imgur in March 2019.

Hence it is proved that photos of Venezuelans streets have been falsely shared as photos of Italy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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