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A set of pictures of patients waiting outside have been shared online claiming to be of COVID-19 patients with no more space available in Italian hospitals.

Pictures of survivors of the March 2020 earthquake in Croatia have been falsely shared as COVID-19 patients without hospital space in Italy.

A set of pictures of people in nightgowns waiting outside buildings have been shared on social media with the caption that there is no more space available in Italian hospitals in relation to COVID-19.

A tweet by Bosnian journalist Mires Kovac posted on 22 March 2020 includes the same pictures with the caption that they were images of mothers hugging newborn babies at the parking areas, evacuated from the damaged maternity hospital due to the earthquake in Zagreb, Croatia.

Articles published by The Associated Press News and The Guardian on 22 March 2020 state that the earthquake in Croatia caused panic amid partial coronavirus lockdown, which resulted in the evacuation at the hospitals where mothers were seen holding their newborn babies at the parking area amid freezing temperatures.

Therefore, the pictures are of patients from Croatia, and not from 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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