The robber panicked as soon as she told him she had the virus; scared of contracting the virus, he made a dash for it.
A quick-thinking woman in China scared away a potential rapist by pretending to cough, and claiming that she was from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Xiao, 25, had broken into the victim's apartment on Friday night and started to sexually assault her in Jingshan, a city that's a three-hour drive from Wuhan, claimed the authorities. The victim, identified by cops as Yi, is healthy and hasn't contracted the Coronavirus but pretended to have, to escape the sexual assault, reported The Daily Mail.
As Xiao was physically assaulting her, she shouted in desperation, "I just returned from Wuhan and have been infected, therefore I am home alone in self-quarantine." Xiao, who was squeezing her neck and trying to cover her mouth to stop her from shouting got suspicious. He got scared and immediately let her go, not wanting to risk contracting the deadly virus. He panicked and distanced himself from her. He then robbed Yi of 3,080 yuan ($441) before making a dash for it.
Jingshan Public Security Bureau posted about the incident on Monday. The authorities said the attempted sexual assault had happened in the town of Pingba in the outskirts of Jingshan. The cops revealed that Xiao had run away from home and had no money on him. He wanted to rob to get some money. He broke into Yi's home but after realizing she was alone, he attempted to sexually assault her. Xiao was then scared away by Yi's claim that she had the coronavirus. As soon as Xiao ran away, Yi called the emergency line and informed the cops. The authorities launched a manhunt for the suspect in Pingba but it was made all the difficult because everyone was wearing facemasks to protect themselves from the coronavirus. Xiao had returned home after the robbery and attempted sexual assault. Xiao, accompanied by his father, turned himself in on Monday morning, following which he was charged and detained. The 25-year-old admitted to the charges leveled against him by Yi.
According to Al Jazeera, at least 490 people have died as a result of Coronavirus as of Wednesday. China's National Health Commission reported that there had 24,324 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. Hong Kong and the Philippines have reported one death each from Coronavirus. Earlier this week, it was reported that over 1,800 passengers of a cruise ship were being tested for the virus after many crew members and passengers reported symptoms of the virus. Japan quarantined the ship. The passengers were told by health officials that they didn't have permission to disembark the cruise ship. The ship had traveled from Nansha, China to Vietnam between January 19 and 24, reported CNBC. Japanese Health Minister Katsunoby Kato confirmed that 10 people on board the cruise ship had been infected and taken to hospital.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency. A majority of the cases have been reported in Wuhan, China, where the virus outbreak is claimed to have originated. The US has also released a travel advisory, warning citizens to not travel to China. "The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.