A train in Fukuoka city was delayed by 3 minutes on the evening of February 18th after a passenger hit the emergency stop button because another passenger was coughing without wearing a mask.

According to the Mainichi News, the passenger complained about his fellow train rider to the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau, “There's a person coughing and they're not wearing a mask." It is believed the man was concerned due to the increasing numbers of the new Coronavirus, which has made its way into Japan after being discovered in Wuhan during December.

The four carriage train, which was travelling between Tenjin Minami station and Hashimoto station, came to a halt on the Nanakuma line at around 8:00pm on the 18th of February, after the passenger pressed the emergency notification button. After the train stopped at Beppu station, the driver and the stationmaster rushed to the carriage where they asked two people who were arguing on the train out onto the station platform. The passengers, who had been sitting next to each other on the train before one of them pressed the emergency button, then reconciled on the platform. The train then resumed its journey after it had been stopped for 3 minutes.

As stated by Mainichi news a representative of the transportation bureau commented “We'd like to ask people to refrain from pushing the emergency notification button just because there is someone without a mask. We're calling on passengers to show proper manners when they cough, and want to publicize this more."

The new strain of the coronavirus, COVID-19, was first discovered in Wuhan, China in early December. Following the outbreak, the Chinese government attempted to keep the virus under control by putting the city of Wuhan under quarantine, but the attempt failed, and the virus quickly spread to surrounding cities. All transport into and out of China was then suspended in another attempt to contain COVID-19, however, it wasn’t long before cases were seen in other countries, causing widespread international concern.

The virus has caused over 2,000 deaths in China and has infected 75,782 people. Of the 75,782 cases, there have been 94 confirmed infections in Japan and a further 634 onboard the Princess Diamond cruise ship which is under quarantine off the coast of Japan. With cases on the rise, the virus has led to mass panic across the world, with many wondering what should be done to prevent catching the sickness.

The World Health Organization (W.H.O) has released information on basic prevention methods against COVID-19. The organization advises to wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering the mouth with a flexed elbow when sneezing or coughing, avoiding touching eyes, mouth and nose, steer clear of raw or uncooked animal products and keeping a distance between oneself and sick people. Moreover, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has also announced criteria for deciding when to consult a doctor.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.