A prankster who pretended to have the coronavirus on a metro in Moscow has been arrested. The man dropped himself on the floor of the subway and imitated a kind of stroke.
The images that have emerged from the ‘joke’ show that the other travelers immediately come to the aid of the man. When he starts shaking, and people think something is seriously wrong, they stand at a safer distance. But the man was not ill at all, and the spectacle turned out to be only part of a joke being filmed.
The suspect was later arrested by the Russian police and detained on suspicion of criminal hooliganism. He is now risking five years in prison. A Russian news website tweeted the video and called the incident a “joke out of control”.
The police are still looking for two other suspects. “The accomplices shouted about a dangerous viral infection, which caused panic among other passengers,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, Irina Volk.
According to the suspect’s lawyer, the man is in shock because he did not expect that it would be a big case.
In Russia, there are currently two confirmed cases of the coronavirus. At least 144 people are in quarantine.
Recalled that Claudete Maria Rosa da Silva, 39, went to a dispensary in Copacabana, a tourist district in the south of Rio on Friday evening, saying that she was suffering from symptoms of the new coronavirus. She claimed to have coronavirus in an attempt to gain priority in accessing medical care at a clinic.
To give more credit to her staging, she will tell her interlocutors that she was coming back from Hong Kong, where she had worked as a nanny. Hong Kong is one of the cities affected by the deadly virus that has already killed 1,000 people in China.
Under the effect of panic and anxiety, the medical team immediately went on alert, forcing many health professionals to be in the care of Maria for several hours. The alleged patient with coronavirus was brought to an isolated room and subjected to a whole battery of examinations.
The Ministry of Health was even warned, as provided for in the protocol that put in place by the health authorities. But Claudete Maria Rosa da Silva ended up being arrested by the police after members of her family revealed that, in fact, she had never left Brazil and was not even in possession of a passport.
She was taken into solitary confinement, not for medical reasons, but to be detained and finally released on Sunday. It was a great relief for his family but also for the Brazilians who may have mistakenly believed that their country had been affected by the coronavirus.