A photo being circulated on social media, saying that another case of coronavirus has been found at a hotel on the Gżira seafront has been dismissed as “fake news”.
The image – which shows an ambulance parked outside The Strand and Hotel Kennedy Nova – was accompanied with a claim that paramedics had entered one of the hotels wearing hazmat suits.
The accompanying message said: “An other case in strand sliema. Police and ambulance just came in 115 the strand. They are wearing the special clothes before they are entering the building.”
However, the manager of The Strand has debunked the claim. “It is fake news,” she confirmed. “We contacted the Facebook group where the photo was posted and asked them to take it down. We have had no ambulances here.”
The ambulance was in fact called for a guest staying at Hotel Kennedy Nova next door. The manager there confirmed that a person staying asked staff to call an ambulance for him in the early hours of the morning.
A spokesman added: "He walked to the ambulance himself. We did not see any of the paramedics taking any extra precautionary measures, such as wearing special clothing. We have not been contacted in any follow up way to suggest it was linked to coronavirus."
The story – posted on the Sliema Residents Facebook page - is one of a several fake news stories which have been circulating on social media in recent weeks, from both inside and outside Malta.
So far three people have been confirmed positive for coronavirus in Malta: a 12-year-old girl and her parents, who had been on a flight from Rome.
Everyone in contact with the family have been located and tested negative for the virus. So far some 540 tests have been carried out.
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