No! these aren’t visuals of mass graves in Italy but, a scene from a science fiction movie!

Coronavirus False International

Italy is so far the worst affected country from COVID19 with more than 10,000 deaths. Over the past couple of weeks Italy has continuously recorded the highest number of deaths reported in a single day. As officials are finding it extremely difficult to control COVID19 pandemic, social media has been flooded with numerous posts about this unfortunate situation in Italy. We already carried out a number of fact check such as this, where images that are old and unrelated to Italy  shared in a misleading manner.

Number of video claims, relating to the sorry state of Italy, are on the rise. We observed a Facebook page called “කතුර” carrying a video post titled “කොරෝනා වෛරසය බිලිගත් ඉතාලිය …..විඩියෝව නරඹන්න ….”  Translating to English as “Italy caught by Corona virus ……. Watch Video”. The video, that seems to be of a mass graveyard in Italy has been shared by a number of Facebook users in Sri Lanka and around the world.

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This video was widely shared among Sri Lankan Tamil community as well.

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We observed a video post from a Facebook user Lucky Suresh titled  “The brutality of corona is Italy” This video showing the same scenario as above video shows a newscaster describing the scene of the mass graveyard as well.

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Fact Check 

We carefully analyzed both video scenes and observed in the extended version that a TV anchor announcing “Though unsubstantiated by state and city authorities, we now have information for a knowledgeable source that tells us the city’s temporary morgues are filled beyond capacity. Mass graves have been dug for the incineration and burial of the dead. The current death toll due to the riptide virus is now in thousands.” 

We carried out a google search on the word “riptide virus” and came across number of fact checks about the same video scenery as well as results of US television mini-series named “Pandemic” aired in 2017.

From the Wikipedia entry about Pandemic (miniseries), we noticed “riptide virus” mentioned in the synopsis of the TV series as well.

Pandemic is a science-fiction TV series where an epidemiologist and an FBI agent try to stop a deadly virus that spreads from person to person in Los Angeles. A search on YouTube for Pandemic miniseries confirmed that the videos appearing in Facebook posts are indeed from “Pandemic 2007 Full Movie HD (CORONAVIRUS Movie)” uploaded to YouTube in February 2020.

فیلم کارتۆن – Film Fartoni Kurdi , who uploaded the movie had also mentioned about the resemblance of this movie to the COVID19 situation which was gathering momentum back in February.

We came across various fact checks carried out by numerous other organizations around the world showing how viral this video claim had been, especially among Asian communities. This is a fact check done by Factcrescnedo Malayalam


Our fact checked revealed that the misleading viral videos circulating in social media platforms giving the impression of mass graves of Italy are actually taken from a scene of the movie “Pandemic”. The original Pandemic science fiction TV series was aired back in 2007. 


Title:No! these aren’t visuals of mass graves in Italy but, a scene from a science fiction movie!

Fact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe 

Result: False

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