IIT-Madras scholar pretends to have coronavirus after being 'dared' by friends; let off with warning
Photo: IIT Madras/Facebook

The novel coronavirus has brought in its fair share of odd stories. From patients that flee quarantine centres to those who pretend that they have the virus -- there have been slew of incidents lately.

Take the five patients who left their isolation wards at Nagpur's Mayo Hospital to grab snacks and never returned. Or the PhD scholar from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras who told a bus full of people that she had tested positive for the virus three days ago because she was playing 'truth and dare' with her friends.

The incident which took place on board a bus travelling from Chennai to Coimbatore on Friday saw panicked passengers call the the state's nodal officer and the Joint Director of Public Health. The state's health officials then instructed the bus to halt and wait until they reached the site. However, the girl, they discovered, was not on board.

According to an IANS report, she had begun by telling the passengers sitting just ahead of her that she had been infected. Soon after, when she tried to get off the bus and the driver refused to stop, she made the same announcement, this time to the entire bus.

"It seems the student's birthday is today (Saturday). After some celebrations with her friends she had boarded a private bus to Coimbatore. Her friends were following the bus in a car," P. Sampath, Joint Director-Epidemic, Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, told IANS.

After her vociferous claim, the bus was halted, and she joined her friends in the car.

Officials tracked the girl down using her ticket booking details.

According to a report by The News Minute, she alleged ignored the summons initially, cooperating only when she was threatened with a criminal complaint that would be registered against her.

Reportedly, she had been 'dared' by her friends to say the same as part of a game. After tendering an unconditional apology she was let off wish a strict warning.

"This is the first prank call that we had received. It is shocking and surprising that a Ph.D student of IIT-M had played this prank," Sampath said, adding that officials at IIT-M too had warned her.

(With inputs from agencies)

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