A Chinese woman scared off a burglar who tried to molest her as she lay in bed by faking a coughing fit and pretending she was infected with the coronavirus.
The victim was asleep when the intruder reportedly sneaked into her home and walked into her bedroom.
When she woke up and screamed loudly, the intruder tried to grab her neck, covered her mouth and tried to abuse her, according to local media.
The quick-thinking victim then started coughing and told the man: "I just came back from Wuhan and I already have symptoms of an infection so I stayed home and isolated myself."
The frightened intruder quickly grabbed the woman's smartphone from her bedside table and around £9 from her purse before running out of the house, according to local media.
The incident took place after the 25-year-old suspect, who lives in the township of Pingba in the southern Chinese city of Chongqing, reportedly ran away from home after a row with relatives.
The man had no money on him so he decided to rob someone and broke into a woman's house in the same area, it is believed.
Jingshan Police confirmed the incident in a social media post and said the suspect has been detained.
In a post it wrote: "On the evening of January 31, 2020, the Pingba Police Station and Criminal Investigation Brigade of the Jingshan Public Security Bureau quickly detected and quickly broke a current burglary case during the anti-epidemic work, and arrested the suspect Xiao (male, 25 years old)."
The female victim reported the incident to the police who immediately started an investigation.
Chinese authorities said today the death toll for the coronavirus on the mainland has risen to 425, with the number of cases now standing at 20,438.
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