March 18, 2020 / 7:06 AM / 23 days ago

Japanese man who threatened to spread coronavirus dies - media

Fake blood is seen in test tubes labelled with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in this illustration taken March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

TOKYO (Reuters) - A 57-year-old man in Japan who had threatened to “scatter” his disease after testing positive for the coronavirus this month died in a hospital on Wednesday, local media reported.

Media had reported last week that local health authorities in Gamagori city, Aichi prefecture, had instructed the man to remain at home after he tested positive on March 4. That evening, the man told his family that he was going to “scatter the virus” and headed to an izakaya pub and a hostess bar, media said.

He was hospitalised on March 5, media said.

The man had been under investigation over alleged obstruction of business after both establishments suspended operations, Kyodo News reported. A woman who worked at the hostess bar tested positive for the coronavirus on March 12, it said.

An Aichi official said that people who test positive are in principle hospitalised but that if there is no bed available, they are told to stay home.

Aichi’s 125 cases represent the second-highest number among Japan’s 47 prefectures, according to public broadcaster NHK, as it has been hit hard by a cluster of cases linked to an elderly day care facility in the capital, Nagoya.

As of Wednesday morning, Japan had 29 deaths and 868 coronavirus cases, excluding those from a cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo last month and returnees on chartered flights from China, NHK’s tally shows.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and Linda Sieg; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Gerry Doyle

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