18th March 2020 – (Hong Kong) A foreign man who is believed to be Joel Werner, founder and CIO of Solitude Capital Management in Hong Kong removed his surgical mask before using his finger to smear some saliva on the handrail of an MTR train. In the viral video shared on social media today, the foreign man stood beside the doors on an MTR train from Causeway Bay Station to Tin Hau Station.
The man’s unhygienic action was widely criticised by netizens as insensitive and selfish during this critical period of COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of filming the man in action, the person should have just told him to stop his action to prevent spreading of any virus to others. It is suspected that the man did it several times which prompted the other passenger to film his revolting act.
Interestingly, Joel Werner told Bloomberg that he bought the equivalent of 216 rolls of toilet paper on Amazon.com Inc. on 10th February after his family tried in vain for days to find any in Hong Kong. The shipping alone cost $200 but he thinks it was worth it. (Read HERE)He kept half of the bounty and plans to give the other half to friends and colleagues. Since he has hoarded so many toilet rolls, he should be considered a man who put hygiene as his top priority during this pandemic.
One hour ago, he claimed that it was a parody video made for friends and he apologised on his Facebook with the following statement:
‘I would like to publicly apologise to the people of Hong Kong for my actions on the MTR today. Earlier today I called the Hong Kong Police and MTR Corp to explain the video and personally apologise for any distress caused.
I made light of the COVID-19 situation in a parody video that was only intended for a handful of friends. But I now realise that I shouldn’t have done that. A global pandemic is no laughing matter.
I unreservedly apologise to anyone that I may have offended. I made sure to use hand sanitiser both before and after I touched the pole, and also wiped the pole with hand sanitiser to ensure the safety of other passengers. Please be assured that it was not my intention to cause any concern or harm to any member of the public.’
He claimed that he sent at least two clips to a private WhatsApp Group with his friends but unfortunately one of them leaked the video and shared with the police.
MTR Corp subsequently issued a statement to condemn his behaviour which blatantly disregarded public hygiene.