American Students Throw 'Coronavirus Parties' To Infect People For Prize Money
Students in Alabama, United States have been throwing 'coronavirus parties', with a prize given to whoever catches the virus the fastest, according to officials.
A councillor from Tuscaloosa, a city in the state, has confirmed the parties are more than just a rumour, with students intentionally inviting Covid patients.
The parties, which are known to be taking place in Tuscaloosa and the areas surrounding it, have been described as 'senseless'.
Sonya McKinstry, a Tuscaloosa City Councillor, told officials that the students all put money in a pot, with the first person confirmed to be infected getting the total.
Speaking to ABC News, she said: "They put money in a pot and they try to get Covid. Whoever gets Covid first gets the pot. It makes no sense."
"We're trying to break up any parties that we know of. It's nonsense.
"But I think when you're dealing with the mindframe of people who are intentionally doing stuff like that and they're spreading it intentionally, how can you truly fight something that people are constantly trying to promote?"
Randy Smith, Tuscaloosa Fire Chief, told the City Council on Tuesday that the allegations are being investigated.
Mr Smith said: "We thought that [it] was kind of a rumour at first.
"We did some research. Not only do the doctors' offices confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information."
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It's not known at this stage if action would be taken against the students, nor which school they attend.
The city is home to The University of Alabama, as well as several other institutions.
It seems that many people in the US are still not taking the virus seriously, with a party that took place in Texas last week confirmed to have been the epicentre of another breakout.
About 25 people attended a surprise family party in Carrollton, Texas - including a man who had coronavirus but was unaware. He had simply put his cough down to his job working in construction.
While at the party, he came into contact with seven members of his family - they then passed it on to another 10 relatives, leaving a total of 18 family members testing positive for the virus.
Three were hospitalised following the outbreak - Frank and Carole Barbosa, who are both in their 80s, and Kathy Barbosa, who has breast cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.
Frank and Carole's son Ron Barbosa, who refused to attend the gathering, has spoken out about the incident, saying his dad is 'hanging on by a thread' while on life support.
At the time of writing, the USA has 2.8 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 with more than 131,000 related deaths.
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