A post on Facebook that has been shared hundreds of times claims to show an image of military trucks carrying the bodies of Covid-19 victims. It implies that the image (showing military trucks winding down a street) was taken in Italy. However, this picture was actually taken in Paris and the trucks are not related to the new coronavirus.
One clue as to the location is the pharmacy in the foreground of the photograph. The sign outside says ‘pharmacie’ which is French. If the photo was from Italy, the sign should say ‘farmacia’.
French fact checking organisation Libération reported on photographs and videos taken in the suburbs of Paris at the start of March, showing a line of military trucks driving through the street.
Fact checking organisation AFP also reported that the trucks were seen in the Parisian suburb of Charenton-Le-Pont, in Ile-de-France. Google Maps shows that the image in the post was taken in this area.
AFP quoted the Ministry of the Armed Forces saying [in French]: “The trucks seen in Charenton belong to a logistical movement unrelated to the coronavirus crisis.”
However, even though this particular image does not show Italian military trucks being used to transport bodies, it is true that the Italian army is having to do this task.
Footage shared by the BBC World Service on 19 March shows Italian army trucks moving coffins in Bergamo, Lombardy. It quotes local journalist Beppe Severgnini as saying military trucks had taken away 70 coffins the night before to have the bodies cremated elsewhere in Italy because the cemeteries and crematoriums of Bergamo can’t cope.