The social media post, shared on media including Snapchat, claimed, that an individual had been admitted to Oslo University Hospital with coronavirus at, NRK reports.
The claim is ‘fake news’, the hospital has confirmed.
Oslo University Hospital press officer Anders Bayer told NRK it was “not true” that anyone had been hospitalized with the virus.
The hospital also responded via its own social media accounts, noting that circulating rumours over admission of a patient with new coronavirus were considered by the hospital to be “fake news”.
Det sirkulerer rykter i sosiale medier og media i ettermiddag/kveld om at det skal være innlagt en pasient med 2019-nCoV (“Coronaviruset”) ved OUS Ullevål sykehus allerede i går. Vi har ingen indikasjon på at dette er riktig, og oppfatter derfor ryktet som “fake news”.
— Oslounivsykehus (@Oslounivsykehus) January 29, 2020
A screenshot of a Snapchat post published by NRK shows text reading “don’t want to scare anyone but have to share this”, before apparently claiming to know someone who works at the hospital.
“Yesterday, the first patient with coronavirus here in Norway was admitted,” it continues, before advising “be careful, wash hands and buy face masks”.
NRK writes that it has seen other cases involving manipulated images claiming coronavirus infection in Norway.
Bayer said he had also seen a similar false claim on social media.
“There is a good deal of irritation in the accident and emergency department, and we are saddened that someone thinks it is good entertainment to spread false rumours,” the Oslo University Hospital press officer told NRK.
Arne Broch Brantsæter, a consultant at the hospital’s department of infectious diseases, said there was currently no cause for alarm amongst the Norwegian general public.
“No, I don't think (the public should be worried) at the current time. The healthcare system is well equipped to identify cases early. We would isolate patients to give them good treatment, so we can hope that it would take a long time before we would see a general spread in society,” he told NRK.
“As such, there is no reason for the ordinary Norwegian to fear this disease today,” he added.