A 15-second video of people at an airport has gone viral. In the video, people sitting or lying on the ground and getting assistance from a team presumably of emergency workers. At the four-second mark, we can hear a woman cough. The video is circulating with the text “The Ethiopian Airlines flight 🛬✈from Italy this evening to Addis Ababa airport. Most of the passengers are infected with the virus, and there is no strength except in God.”

A Twitter user uploaded the viral video on March 18.

Alt News also noticed that the viral video has been shared on Facebook and WhatsApp.

We have received several requests to fact-check the video on WhatsApp (+917600011160) and on our official Android application.


Alt News found the viral video on a November 2019 article by Dakaractu, a French TV channel. According to the article, the video is from Blaise Diagne International Airport in Senegal. It is 43 kilometres from Dakar. The video shows a hostage-taking scenario drill. The 15-second viral video has been made from editing the first 43 seconds of the video uploaded by Dakaractu.

Alt News analysed the viral video using InVid, a video verification tool and performed a reverse image search on Google. This led us to a March 13 fact-check report by France 24 which in turn led us to the video uploaded by Dakaractu.

France 24 reported, “It turns out that this video actually shows a training exercise carried out in November 2019 at Blaise Diagne Airport in Dakar where police, gendarmes and members of staff had to practise what they’d do in case of a hostage-taking scenario, according to site Thiès Info. The actors taking part in the simulation are all wearing red armbands.”

Therefore, the claim made that video shows people suffering from coronavirus after an “Ethiopian Airlines flight landed from Italy this evening to Addis Ababa” is false and misleading.

As world-wide coronavirus pandemic continues, Alt News has been debunking misinformation related to it circulating online. To check these stories out, click here.

About the Author

🙏 Blessed to have worked as a fact-checking journalist from November 2019 to February 2023.