A man allegedly suffering from fever in Hubei, the Chinese province where the current coronavirus outbreak began, was filmed coughing at medical workers after he failed to receive the medicine he was prescribed, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.
The man, whose identity has not been revealed, had reportedly been suffering from a fever of 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit for four days and received a prescription, but the Hubei pharmacy had run out of stock.
In the video, the man is seen removing his face mask and coughing at medical workers, who dash away from his germs.
The hospital has since confirmed, the Post claimed, that the man was not suffering from a coronavirus infection as the two workers likely feared and that the two employees were fine and not showing any symptoms of the virus.
The incident sparked condemnation and anger across Chinese social media, with local authorities deciding to open an investigation into the man’s act.
The outbreak of coronavirus has mainly affected those living in China, although an increasing number of cases are now being reported around the world.
On Tuesday, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the virus a global health emergency, having initially been reluctant to do so.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” he told a press conference.
The State Department upgraded its warning to U.S. citizens on Thursday to level four, asking anyone with plans of traveling to China to cancel their plans while urging those inside the country to leave as soon as they possibly can.
They released the following statement:
Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice,” the statement reads. “Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China. Those currently in China should consider departing using commercial means. The Department of State has requested that all non-essential U.S. government personnel defer travel to China in light of the novel coronavirus.
As of Friday, there are around 10,000 recorded cases of the virus and 213 fatalities in China alone. As noted by Tedros, the vast majority of cases outside China can be directly linked back to travel in Wuhan, although there are now a growing number of domestic contagions in some of the 20 other countries affected.