A 21-year-old man has been charged after allegedly claiming to have coronavirus (COVID-19) and coughing all over an officer at Coffs Harbour Police Station as part of an apparent “prank” video.
In a statement, NSW Police claim the man attended the station on Tuesday afternoon, where he “deliberately coughed” on a 71-year-old officer and told her he was infected with the virus.
The video, which was largely captured by another person, shows the man laughing about the situation.
“Do you honestly think that that’s funny?” another person can be heard saying.
“It’s a little bit of a laugh, in this climate? You honestly think that coming in here, and saying to police… Well, you know what, you’re not joking.
“It is chargeable, and you are going to be charged.”
NSW Police state the station was temporarily closed while isolation measures were conducted.
Authorities later confirmed the man was not infected with the virus, but the pandemic is not the man’s only concern: he has been charged with stalking or intimidation with intent to cause fear of physical harm, and hindering a police officer in the execution of their duty.
The man was granted conditional bail and is slated to appear before Coffs Harbour Local Court on Wednesday, May 6.
11 people have died of COVID-19 in Australia, with nearly 2,500 cases reported nationwide.
Australians have been urged to limit their exposure to individuals outside of their households to limit the community spread of the virus.
While not explicitly stated, that call for social distancing almost definitely includes a ban on pretending to be infected and hawking phlegm all over people.
If you think you may have coronavirus, either call your doctor (DON’T visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you’re struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
And please remember to wash your hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds) and keep at least 1.5 metres between you and those around you.Image: 2GB / YouTube