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Gunma: Drunk man in train falsely claims to be ‘infected with coronavirus’

GUNMA (TR) – Gunma Prefectural Police on Monday arrested an intoxicated man who is alleged to have falsely claimed to be infected with the novel coronavirus inside a train in Kiryu City, reports TV Asahi (Mar. 16).

Between around 3:40 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Kiyoshi Kogure, a 54-year-old construction worker, allegedly said to a female passenger inside the JR Ryomo Line, “I am infected with the coronavirus. I am contagious.”

Upon the train’s arrival at Kiryu Station, another passenger told a railway employee that a person inside a carriage was claiming to be infected with the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

Four officers, dressed in protective suits, arriving at the scene apprehended Kogure on suspicion of disrupting business.

A man was arrested at Kiryu Station after falsely claiming to be infected with the novel coronavirus (Twitter)

“I jokingly lied”

Kogure, who was drunk at the time, was in possession of a canned cocktail known as chuhai. “I jokingly lied [about being positive] inside the train,” the suspect was quoted by police.

Police later confirmed with a local health center that Kogure was in fact not infected with the coronavirus, Jiji Press reported.

According to the Takasaki branch of East Japan Railway Co., the incident caused three trains to be delayed for up to 57 minutes.

Also on Monday, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said that the number of coronavirus infections in Japan stood at 821.

The figure does not include 712 infected persons who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Yokohama Port. An additional 14 persons who traveled from China’s Hubei Province on chartered flights have also confirmed as infected.