AICHI (TR) – Aichi Prefectural Police arrested a 49-year-old man who falsely claimed to be infected with the novel coronavirus at a drugstore in Nagoya on Wednesday, reports the Chunichi Shimbun (Mar. 26).
At around 12:55 p.m., Koichi Nakano, a part-time employee at a security company, visited the store, located in Tempaku Ward, and coughed in front of a female clerk. He then screamed, “I have corona, because [I tested] positive.”
Upon his arrest on suspicion of disruption of business, Nakano admitted to the allegations, the Tempaku Police Station said.
According to police, Nakano was not infected with the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. He is believed to have carried out the crime after becoming angry when he was unable to buy breathing masks.
Following the incident, the store had to suspend operations for an unspecified period.
Incident in Shimane
In a similar incident, Shimane Prefectural Police arrested a 44-year-old man after he pretended to be infected with the virus at a railway station in Unnan City on March 14.
“Stay more than 1 meter from me or the the virus will be transmitted [to you],” the suspect reportedly told a West Japan Railway Co. employee at JR Kisuki Station. He was also accused of disruption of business.
Infections on the rise
On Thursday morning, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare revealed that the number of coronavirus infections in Japan was 2,025.
Of that figure, 712 cases are from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which until recently was docked at Yokohama Port.
On Wednesday, the number of cases in Tokyo reached 41, a figure that is more than double that of the day before (17).
On Wednesday night, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike urged residents to not embark on non-essential outings this weekend, a request aimed at reducing the spread of the virus.