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Drunk man apprehended after threatening to ‘spread coronavirus’ at Odawara Castle

KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police on Monday apprehended an intoxicated man for allegedly threatening to spread the novel coronavirus at Odawara Castle in Odawara City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 30).

At around 1:00 p.m., the man, aged in his 60s, started screaming at security guards, “I am [infected with] corona, I will be spread it in Odawara Castle.”

Officers from the Odawara Police Station, attired in protective suits, later located a person meeting the man’s description near Odawara Station. “I told a lie,” said the man, who was drinking at the time.

The man’s temperature was 36 degrees Celsius. A local medical institution later told police that it “was not necessary” to give him a test for the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

Police are investigating whether to accuse the man of business disruption.

Hiroaki Harakawa, a representative of the Odawara City Sightseeing Information Center, confirmed that the man was drunk. “Why would someone come here at this time and say something that would caused a
disturbance and create anxiety for many?” he asked, according to the Kanagawa Shimbun.

Just before the incident began, the man had finished a tour of the castle. Then, while he was reclining on a sofa inside a second-floor break room, he started screaming.

While a guard escorted him off the premises, a staff member alerted police. By 1:30 p.m., the castle was closed and the roughly 30 tourists outside the premises. The areas where the man is believed to have touched later underwent sanitization.