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The media are showing mannequins in French hospitals in place of COVID-19 patients.

An image from a university training video was miscaptioned with Prime Minister Jean Castex testing positive.

A post doing the rounds o social media states; "Hospitals are so saturated with the Omicron variant that there is not even time to put the arms to the mannequins for the media." The post is in French but has been translated into other languages. An attached image shows a mannequin in a hospital bed with an arm missing, and medical equipment attached.

The image features a logo for BFM TV, a social media channel in France. The image is captioned: "Castex tests positive for COVID-19, Alert: Jean Castex tested positive for COVID-19 (translated from French)." While searching for the report corresponding to the post, no such image was found. The preview shot, which originally showed Castex, was replaced with the mannequin scene.

On November 22, 2021, French Prime Minister Jean Castex tested positive for COVID-19, a few days before the World Health Organization (WHO) added the Omicron variant as a Variant of Concern (VOC).

The image came from a YouTube video from April 2020 from the University Institute of Cardiology and Respirology of Quebec (IUCPQ). The video explains the "Simulation of a patient with COVID-19 in intensive care at IUCPQ-UL with Dr. Andréanne Côté, pulmonologist, and her team."

AFP explained that the image of the mannequin comes from the article published by Canadian broadcaster Radio Canada. In October 2021, the report was headlined, "No, these mannequins on hospital beds are not fake COVID patients." The information focused on another article dated April 2022, which dealt with the protocols given to a patient in an emergency room, which was led in the IUCPQ by Dr. Mathieu Simon.

On November 29, 2021, Reuters reported that France had registered a rise in COVID-19 cases and the number of patients in intensive care units.

Several similar mannequin claims have arisen in different countries, without any additional context. No context was provided with the image of mannequins being used in French hospitals. The training video was used to misrepresent the report of Castex testing positive.

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 Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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