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Coronavirus update: 14-year-old charged for playing prank, coughing on groceries in US store

Covid-19 update: The grocer called 911 and reported a disturbance, following which the deputies arrived the store following which the teen was charged with “Tampering with Consumer Products,” officials said.

Updated: Mar 30, 2020 08:13 IST

By Press Trust of India, Houston

Coronavirus update: Community organizer Henry Liu films a video clip to share with a Chinatown-International District Facebook support group as he and Eliza Guan from InterIm Community Development Association buy groceries to deliver free food to seniors at Asian supermarket Uwajimaya during the coronavirus disease outbreak in Seattle, Washington, US. (Reutters File Photo/Representative Image)

A 14-year-old boy was charged over a prank in which he allegedly coughed on produce at a grocery store in northwest Harris County, amid the coronavirus scare in the US, officials said on Sunday.

The grocer called 911 and reported a disturbance, following which the deputies arrived the store, they said.

In a Facebook post, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the deputies responded to the disturbance call at the Food City. He said the teen “intentionally coughed on produce”.

“Apparently it was a prank,” wrote Gonzalez. “Not a very funny one. The teen was charged with Tampering with Consumer Products.” The incident took place at a time when confirmed cases of novel coronavirus are on the rise in Houston area. As of Sunday noon, COVID-19 cases in the area have climbed to 928.



An estimated 58 people in the area who have tested positive for the virus have recovered, according to reports from a number of health officials.

Meanwhile, Governor Greg Abbott is tightening travel to Texas by ordering some motorists from Louisiana to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The new travel restrictions come as Louisiana’s status as a novel coronavirus hotspot grew Sunday to more than 3,500 positive cases statewide. Abbott said drivers with commercial, medical, emergency response, military or critical infrastructure purposes for entering Texas would be exempted.

State troopers will enforce the order at checkpoints at major roadways along the border. Those asked to quarantine will be required to provide an address for where they plan to hold up in Texas, either for two weeks or until their return to Louisiana, whichever comes first.

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