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Idol fan falsely claimed recovery ‘from coronavirus’ prior to going to concert

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a male idol fan over a false tweet that claimed he had recovered from the novel coronavirus prior to attempting to attend a concert, reports Kyodo News (Mar. 16).

On Sunday, Kota Tsujiyama, a 30-year-old company employee, allegedly sent out a tweet saying, “I’ve recovered from the coronavirus. I’m looking forward to today.”

That same day, an idol event featuring a number of groups was to be held at a venue in the Dogenzaka area of Shibuya Ward. However, it was subsequently cancelled.

On Monday, police accused Tsujiyama of disruption of business. “I didn’t take the matter seriously, and I didn’t think about the consequences when I sent [the tweets],” the suspect was quoted by the Shibuya Police Station.

Kota Tsujiyama (Twitter)

On March 6, Tsujiyama sent other tweets. “A doctor told me that I am suspected [of being infected with the] coronavirus,” he wrote. “When I recover, I’ll go to the event.”

According to police, Tsujiyama appeared at the venue on Sunday. At around noon, another fan alerted a staff member about the tweets and the presence of the suspect.

In addition to canceling the concert, organizers halted the sale of merchandise.

Tsujiyama has not tested positive for the coronavirus. He is believed to have sent the tweets to garner attention, police said.

Latest data

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said that the number of coronavirus infections in Japan stood at 1,541.

The figure includes 712 infected persons who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Yokohama Port.