Madras: As the number of coronavirus cases rise in the country, authorities are taking strict measures to stem its spread. But unfortunately there are still some who think that it’s no big deal to joke about it. In one such instance, a PhD student of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) created panic on board a Chennai to Coimbatore bus after she said that she was a coronavirus patient. Also Read - Trending News Today March 16, 2020: Watch | House-Bound Italians & Spanish Take to Balconies to Applaud Doctors Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

However, it was later discovered that she was playing a prank as a part of ‘truth or dare’ game with her friends. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic: Plunket Shield Cancelled, Wellington Firebirds Declared Winners on Points

The incident happened on Friday afternoon when the scholar told a co-passenger seated in front of her that she was tested positive for COVID-19 three days back. She then asked the driver to stop the bus which he refused following which she announced to all the passengers that she had tested positive for Coronavirus.

The driver immediately stopped the bus and the girl got down and boarded the friend’s car that was chasing the bus. Meanwhile, panicked passengers called the authorities who in turn instructed the bus to halt and wait until they reached the site. Health officials too arrived at the spot, and sanitised the bus.

The woman, however was not on the bus, prompting officials to trace her using the details she gave while booking her ticket.  The woman, identified as Sujitha, then admitted that she was playing with her friends and didn’t realise the ramifications of the prank.

After tendering an unconditional apology she was let off with a strict warning.

“This is the first prank call that we had received. It is shocking and surprising that a Ph.D student of IIT-M had played this prank,”  P Sampath, Joint Director-Epidemic, Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said.