Armed police saved this drunken man from killing himself with a smashed glass bottle after mistakenly thinking he had contracted the killer coronavirus.
They also helped him home afterwards and chased a debt of cash he was owed that was making him depressed prior to drinking.
The man, named only as Mr Cui, had gone to hospital for a check-up after developing a cough, and while waiting for tests became convinced he had been infected by the illness now officially named by the World Health Organization as COVID-19.
Rather than suffer a painful death from the virus, the apparently drunk Mr Cui decided to end his life using broken glass from a beer bottle which resulted in shocked medical staff at the People’s Hospital of Lushunkou District, in the coastal city of Dalian, calling police to the establishment in north-eastern China’s Liaoning Province.
Footage dated 13th February shows Mr Cui, in a tense standoff with armed police, one of whom, Xu Xiaopeng, is carrying a riot shield.
Mr Cui is at this stage heavily injured and covered in his own blood from the suicide attempt, the police said.
In the video, Mr Cui can be seen swinging his broken bottle at Officer Xu, who, after failing to persuade him to stand down, charges with his shield and pins him against a wall.
A group of nearby officers and medics on standby then rushed to Mr Cui’s aid before he was taken inside the hospital.
Officers responding from Desheng Street Police Station said Mr Cui underwent an hour of surgery and was in stable condition before he was discharged.
The native of the neighbouring province of Heilongjiang had been visiting a friend and was discharged to the individual’s home.
Policeman Wang Weixin reported: “The male individual who attempted suicide is surnamed Cui, from Heilongjiang.
“He’s been coughing recently, and had discomfort in his chest, so he went to get himself checked at a hospital.
“There were so many items to be checked that he thought for sure he had contracted the novel coronavirus.
“He thought he was incurable but didn’t wait for the test results to come back.
“He went a corner shop, bought two beers, smashed the bottles and then cut his own throat in an attempted suicide.”
Mr Cui tested negative for COVID-19, reports said.
Officer Wang added: “We learned that Mr Cui was also owed wages from an employer in Heilongjiang.
“In order to resolve his desire to commit suicide, we believed we needed to help with the most pressing issues affecting him psychologically.
“We brought in his friend to speak with him, and also contacted the boss who still owes him pay.
“Mr Cui was far more relaxed and at ease after the employer promised to pay him as soon as possible.”
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.