Man infected with coronavirus goes to bars ‘to spread the virus’

Staff and customers are being monitored for Covid-19 after ‘highly regrettable’ incident

Andy Gregory
Saturday 07 March 2020 17:25 GMT
Coronavirus cases: The spread outside China

A man has gone bar-hopping in order to spread the coronavirus after discovering he was infected, reports suggest.

Despite being asymptomatic, he tested positive at a hospital in the Japanese city of Gamagori on Wednesday after both of his parents contracted the virus, and was told to wait at home until space at a suitable medical facility could be found for him the following day.

Instead, Fuji News Network (FNN) reports he decided to visit two bars in the small coastal city after telling a family member: “I am going to spread the virus.”

The man, in his 50s, allegedly took a took a taxi to an izakaya bar – informal establishments akin to pubs – before walking on foot to a Filipino bar, according to the Tokyo Reporter.

After eating and finishing several drinks, the man reportedly told fellow customers he had tested positive for coronavirus, at which point a concerned member of staff called local health authorities.

Police clad in protective suits appeared at the second bar, however the man had already taken a taxi home.

He was reportedly sent to a treatment facility the next day.

The two bars were being disinfected and sterilised, a city official told FNN, while staff members and customers were reportedly being tested for the virus.

“I can’t get this straight in my head. I cannot express it in words since I only have anger,” local media reported a staff member as saying.

Officials held a press conference and apologised for the incident, with the city’s mayor, Toshiaki Suzuki, saying: “It is highly regrettable that he did not remain home as instructed.”

Japan has seen more than 1,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, although the majority of these were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise liner, which for some time was home to the largest outbreak outside of mainland China and was moored off the coast near Yokohama.

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