Fact Check: Did 50 Iranian Coronavirus Patients Arrive in Beirut Recently?

Iran Air Official | NNA

The internet: a place where rumors and the truth intertwine, leaving the unsuspecting reader confused, lost, and misinformed.

Here’s a fact check for a recent claim about the arrival of Iranian patients in Lebanon that’s been causing a stir among some people.

Claim: There are claims that suggest that 50 people with coronary complications arrived in Beirut from Iran, despite the closing of the airport. The claims elaborate saying these patients arrived as “cargo.”

Verdict: In an interview with Al-Jadeed, the Minister of Public Health, Hamad Hassan, says that there’s no truth to the claim that 50 Iranian coronavirus patients arrived in Lebanon.

MP Hassan said that each coronavirus patient has his/her personal information. This basically means that the identities of the patients are known, which, as MP Hassan thinks, should be proof enough that the claims are false.

Context: The first COVID-19 case is believed to have been brought to Lebanon through Iran. False claims that allege more Iranians are coming to Lebanon, whilst the airport is closed can be very dangerous in a politically volatile Lebanon.

These claims can also be detrimental to the general lack of faith and trust toward government officials (as expressed by the public through the recent Lebanese Revolution).

This is most likely a rumor or “fitna” to cause scares and fuel panic among Lebanese people. Basically, it’s fake news.