Reporting people for displaying the current coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms seems to be the new not-so-funny way some people are choosing to get back at others after arguments.
Those resorting to this extreme prank include an Egyptian wife who decided to send her husband to quarantine following an alleged argument between them. The woman falsely reported that her husband was exhibiting symptoms of the virus to local health authorities in the country's El Mahalla El Kubra, the largest city in Egypt's northern Gharbia governorate.
She explained that her husband could've contracted the virus while on a trip to South Korea, a country where hundreds of infections have been reported in the last week. The man was immediately taken into quarantine; he later tested negative for the virus.
Local news outlets stated that the woman reported her husband because he had moved out of their marital home and moved to 10th of Ramadan City - located in the Sharqia governorate, on the opposite end of where she lives - and was planning on taking a second wife.
The exact reason why she reported her husband remains unconfirmed, though. But what is certain is that authorities moved quickly without knowing their work will end in vain.
News of the man's quarantine sparked panic among residents who live in the same city as him.
Before the wife came clean over why she reported her husband, local health authorities headed by Abdul Nasser Hemeidah said the man was sent into quarantine because he had recently visited South Korea. Hemeidah added that the husband was suffering a fever at the time of his transfer to a hospital but it later turned out that he had a sinus infection.
Reports claimed that the woman decided to tell her husband what she had done after he arrived back home and apologized to her.
False and fake COVID-19 reports are on the rise in Egypt
This isn't the only false coronavirus report local officials have received in the last few days. Panic over the virus has led many to call authorities to report relatives, neighbors, and colleagues who have been traveling to cities where the virus is widespread.
An Egyptian woman based in Kafr Al Sheikh recently called health authorities to tip them on her neighbor who'd arrived from China where she was completing her PhD studies.
After she was taken in for tests, the woman told authorities she had been tested for the virus three times while in China and was given an all-clear during a transit in Russia before she headed back to Egypt. She was later released.
Prank calls over coronavirus are also on the rise in the country, with many calling local police to report fake symptoms only to hang up or not answer when police call them again to obtain more information. Authorities have stated they will be taking strict action against anyone involved in such behaviors.
Egypt has confirmed two cases of the virus so far but many expect the number to rise in the next few days as many suspected patients have undergone tests for the illness.