Telangana youth in trouble over sneezing, spitting on trolley

Irfan Mohammed

Jeddah: In a bizarre incident, a Telangana NRI, who is also reportedly positive of COVID-19, has landed in trouble in Saudi Arabia for alleged spitting on a shopping trolley in a supermarket. The incident caused an uproar in the Kingdom as many suspected that it was a deliberate attempt to spread pandemic.

A youth believed from Janagon district, according to sources, working in a contracting company, engaged in sewage piping in Baljarushi, a small town of Al Baha province, 415 KM from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia for last few years. The NRI was on vacation and returned to Kingdom a month ago.

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The empty shelves in the market after removing the goods which NRI had touched

Recently, he had visited a leading supermarket in the town where he was spotted by some locals for allegedly spitting on a shopping trolley.

The police rushed to the spot and NRI was shifted to a hospital where he was declared as COVID-19 positive. The Municipality authorities have destroyed the food and other goods in the shelves where NRI passed near and touched, based on footage of surveillance cameras, according to local municipal officials. It is believed that the cost of destroyed good was 1.4 million Riyals equivalent to nearly Rs. 34 lakh Rupees.

The shoppers, who had visited the market at that time, besides employees of the market, were examined by Prince Mashari Hospital in the town.

The case details were revealed by Baljarushi Governor Ghalib Abukhashim in a popular news channel show, Gulf Rotana.

The authorities also isolated 47 other people, mostly his colleagues, for two weeks and 44 of them were freed on Wednesday after they found negative. Other three-under medical observation, says health authorities.

Earlier, public prosecution said that it investigates the case. If it is proven to be a deliberate act to spread coronavirus, then serious charges including murder would be framed.

“It was discharge of squeezing secretion after cough, in the hasty manner the NRI rubbed the hands to the trolley which he was holding”, said sources from the town. It was not a deliberate attempt as he himself was not aware that being affected with COVID-19, they added. The worker was discharged from hospital and placed in quarantine, they told.

His friends have been anxiously waiting for not only release from quarantine but also from any punitive action since Saudi judicial provides fair justice.

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