In Covid-19 scare, man arrested for spitting on lift buttons

A screengrab from a security camera of a man believed to have spat on the lift buttons in Penang yesterday.

GEORGE TOWN: Police have arrested a snooker centre assistant, aged 63, who caused a Covid-19 scare after he was seen on video to be spitting on the panel of buttons in a lift at a Bayan Lepas apartment building.

Panicked residents took to social media suspecting the man was trying to spread the Covid-19 disease, which has now infected 553 people.

The 63-year-old man’s projectile spit was caught by a CCTV camera mounted in the lift carriage at the Idaman Melur apartment building in Sungai Ara. The timestamp on the video shows he had committed the act at 11.45am yesterday.

Southwest district police chief A Anbalagan said a police report was lodged by a teacher in Perlis who saw the video on Facebook and was concerned that the man could be infected with Covid-19.

The man surrendered himself to Bayan Lepas police at 12.50pm and was subsequently arrested to be investigated for committing mischief.

“The suspect is believed to have not shown any signs of the Covid-19 and was later confirmed to be negative for the virus after a test at Penang Hospital,” Anbalagan said.

Anbalagan said the man has admitted having committed the act and would be “most likely” charged at the Magistrate’s Court in Balik Pulau tomorrow.