Man who urged people to go out, sneeze and spread coronavirus sacked from work, arrested

An Infosys employee in Bengaluru has been arrested by the City Crime Branch (CCB) for a shocking social media post urging people to “go out and sneeze” and spread the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.

“Let’s join hands, go out and sneeze with open mouth in public. Spread the virus,” Mujeeb Mohammed, a resident of the city for 25 years, wrote on Facebook.

“The person who put this post, saying people should go out and sneeze and spread the virus, has been detained. His name is Mujeeb and he works in a software company. A case has been registered,” said Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner (CCB, Bengaluru).

A leading IT services firm, Infosys responded saying the post was “against the code of conduct and its commitment to responsible social sharing”.

“Infosys has completed its investigation on the social media post by one of its employees and we believe that this is not a case of mistaken identity,” the company said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“The social media post by the employee is against Infosys’ code of conduct and its commitment to responsible social sharing. Infosys has a zero tolerance policy towards such acts and has accordingly, terminated the services of the employee,” the statement added.

This is not Infosys’s first brush the novel coronavirus.

Earlier this month it vacated one of its buildings after an employee was suspected to be infected.

The IT major has a sprawling campus in the city with over a dozen buildings housing its development centres and corporate house since the 1990s.

India announced a 21-day lockdown to halt the spread of the virus.

The government has responded to the outbreak by shutting borders and suspending all flights, both domestic and foreign. State governments have shut internal borders and closed, or limited, public transport.

States have also shut all public spaces, such as malls, cinemas and gyms, and ordered people to stay at home to minimise contact and the virus’ spread.