A woman in order to protect herself from sexual assault pretended to be infected with the deadly novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in central China's Hubei province. China's Hubei province is the hardest-hit region in the current disease outbreak, reporting the majority of cases and fatalities. Its capital Wuhan has served as the epicentre of the epidemic, with the disease tracing its origin from its local sea-food market.

Woman pretends to have coronavirus, evades rape

Rape representational image
Image for representational purpose only

The incident took place on Friday, January 31, in the township of Pingba, on the outskirts of city Jingshan, in China's Hubei province. Jingshan is a three-hour drive away from the capital. The woman identified as Yi was alone at her home when a 25-year-old man named Xiao barged into her house.

The man, who is a local resident, had walked out on his family, the same day. As he had no money, he broke into Yi's house, in order to rob her. But finding her alone, he attempted to sexually assault her, Daily Mail reported. While he tried to squeeze her neck and cover her mouth, Yi pretended to cough and yelled, "I just returned from Wuhan and have been infected, therefore I am home alone in self-quarantine".

Xiao fled out of fear, but not without robbing her off 3,080 yuan ($441). A perfectly healthy Yi immediately called the police who launched a manhunt in Pingba, though the officers confessed that investigation was difficult because all residents were wearing face masks to protect themselves from the deadly coronavirus. On Monday, Xiao accompanied by his father surrendered before the police. He has admitted to his crime and was detained.

Coronavirus outbreak in China

Novel coronavirus outbreak has resulted in 492 fatalities, two outside mainland China, with the rest reported in the country. 24,324 cases have been reported by China, with the virus spreading to over two dozen countries.