A man believed to be a Chinese citizen infected with the coronavirus who was snapped lying on a pavement in the Philippine capital after suddenly collapsing has turned out to be a drunk Korean tourist.
The incident took place in the district of Ermita in the northern Philippine capital Manila and the images were shared online by netizen ‘Zaldy Maguigad’.
According to local media, Maguigad assumed the unconscious man was Chinese and appeared to be suffering with the deadly coronavirus.
Maguigad and several onlookers cordoned off the area around the man and reported the incident to the local authorities.
According to Maguigad, the Red Cross, the emergency services hotline and the incident to the local authorities came up with different excuses as to why they could not assist the foreign man.
He also claimed that he called the cops, but they also failed to send anyone to the scene.
However, after a while the foreign national stood up and walked away, leaving his belongings behind.
After Maguigad posted images of the incident online, reportedly sparking concerns in the city, the Manila Public Information Office issued a statement to explain the situation.
They said the netizen’s post was “fake news” and explained that the man was a drunk tourist from South Korea.
Manila cops even said the foreign man showed up at a police station, shocked that photos of him were circulating online claiming he was infected with coronavirus.
After the confusion, Maguigad apologised on social media for his earlier post that sparked the fears.
In a separate post shortly afterwards, he explained that he had managed to track down the Korean man and said: “We would both like to apologise if we had made a mistake and offended the public and the local authorities.”
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.