A woman was able to avoid getting raped on January 31 (Friday) by coughing and telling her would-be assailant that she had just come from Wuhan, was infected with the coronavirus, and that she was under self-quarantine.
The 25-year-old home intruder who forced his way into her bedroom apparently got frightened and hastily left after taking some money for her, leaving her otherwise unmolested.
The suspect, whom the police have identified as Mr Xiao, was about to sexually assault the woman when she cried out, “I just returned from Wuhan and have been infected, therefore I am home alone in self-quarantine.”
The Daily Mail reports that the woman, named by police as Ms Yi, is in fact, healthy. As Mr Xiao began to squeeze her neck and cover her mouth, Ms Yi pretended to cough.
Ms Yi lives in Pingba, on the outskirts of Jingshan, which is around three hours away from Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) originated, and which has since affected around 25,000 people around the globe. Its death toll now stands at 495.
The city has been in lockdown since January 23.
Mr Xiao immediately stopped his attempt to sexually assault Ms Yi but took 3,080 yuan (S$ 608) from her.
The incident was posted on social media from the Jingshan Public Security Bureau on February 3 (Monday).
According to the police, Mr Xiao had gone out that night with the intention to rob. When he went into Ms Yi’s House, he saw that she was alone, and decided that he would rape her.
After the assailant left, Ms Yi called the police, who launched an immediate search for Mr Xiao, a local resident of Pingba.
The police said that looking for Mr Xiao had proved challenging because people were wearing face masks around town for protection from getting infected by the virus.
But by early Monday morning, Mr Xiao, accompanied by his father, surrendered to the police, admitting that he had attempted to rape Ms Yi.
He was detained upon turning himself in.
Meanwhile, the virus has continued to spread around the globe, with new cases reported every day. Among those infected, 3,223 are in critical condition, while 1,045 previously infected persons have recovered.
There are 24,418 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China. The country’s death count now stands at 493 people. Police in China have detained a growing number of persons for faking healthy statuses, defying quarantine measures or deliberately hiding the fact that they had travelled to areas affected by the coronavirus. They have been accused of breaking China’s criminal law and infectious disease law. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Wednesday (Feb 5) that the United States has sent supplies to Wuhan to assist the Chinese authorities in the fight against the novel coronavirus (2019-CoV).
Hong Kong reported three new cases of the virus, bringing its case count to 21. The government announced that all travellers coming from mainland China will be placed under quarantine for 14 days, including Hong Kong and mainland residents. As healthcare workers go on strike for the third day over government response to the coronavirus, emergency wards in Hong Kong have been shut down. A total of 4,600 staff, including 300 doctors and 2,700 nurses are absent from work because of the strike. Macao’s case count currently stands at 10.
In Singapore, there are four new cases of the coronavirus, increasing the country’s total to 28 confirmed cases. The cases were announced on Wednesday (Feb 5) and include a father and son (a 6-month old boy), the Singaporean husband of an infected tour guide, and a tourist from China. All four have been warded in isolation rooms in the country. -/TISG