Man thrashed for sneezing in public amid coronavirus scare

In an incident which shows how the fear of coronavirus has become all-pervasive, a man riding a motorbike was thrashed in Kolhapur city of Maharashtra on Thursday just because he sneezed in public.

A CCTV video of the fracas, which took place in Gujari area of the city, went viral on social media, though the local police said no complaint had been registered.

The video showed that a bike-rider stopping and asking another rider on the road why he sneezed without covering his face with a handkerchief as it could cause the spread of the coronavirus.

It led to a heated exchange, and the man who had allegedly sneezed was beaten up.

The incident led to a traffic jam as many other vehicles stopped, though it was not reported to the police.

Maharashtra has reported at least 49 confirmed coronavirus patients so far, including one who died.

According to the World Health Organisation, the virus can spread through spitting, sneezing or coughing or physical contact with an infected person.