The video of the claim about Italians drinking holy water for the Covid-19 was shared on social media. The post of the account, called “Biliyor Muydunuz?”, on Twitter just got almost 6,600 retweets and 28,000 likes.
The first clue that the video offers is the flagpole behind people in its first seconds. It is the flag of Romania, not of Italy.
The second clue that the video offers is the statue just in front of the flag. When we search the statue on Google Maps, we find the Metropolitan Cathedral in Cluj-Napoca in Romania and the Statue of Avram Iancu in front of it.
A user in Reddit states that the video is from Romania. Also, when we search by some screenshots from the video in search engines, we find another video of the same event from different angles. A user on the news website, called Newsflare, stated the date and the address of the video.
Teyit reached Romanian journalist Irina Maxim, who downloaded the video on Newsflare. Maxim said that she didn’t know who recorded the video, but the religious officials gave those who participated in the communion wine and bread. There is not any sign for people to gather for the epidemic.
Italy, which is one of the most affected countries by the virus, forbid collective worship. Churches are open only to pray, close to the collective events. So, the video could not be recorded in Italy.
Romania forbid the collective events as of 23 March 2020. On the date when the video was recorded, there weren’t prohibitions. Journalist Irina Maxim recorded the video for this reason, and this event could accelerate the spread of the virus.
Also, T24 reported the video is from Romania after the posts on social media.
In conclusion, the claim that the video is from Italy is not true. The post in question is an example of a false connection.
Google Maps, Metropolitan cathedral, and the plaza
Balkan Insight, News about the number of people with the coronavirus in Romania, 23 March 2020
Euroactiv, News about the restrictions in Romania, 23 March 2020
Vatican News, Restrictions in worships in Italy for the epidemic, 11 March 2020
Newsflare, The video shared by Journalist Irina Maxim, 22 March 2020
Talk with Irina Maxim, 23 March 2020, 15.30
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Translation: Hilal Ebru Yakar