A man is going viral after requesting a viral load of COVID-19 from women in his area. “The client wants to be positive,” the post said in a messaging group on Line. By “positive”, you probably hoped he just meant optimistic about the encounter that was scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. but alas, he clarified. “Looking for the infected only,” the post explained in addition to saying women who respond should be able to provide an antigen test result to reassure him that she’s brimming with coronavirus.
A screenshot of the surprising request became popular on Facebook this week.
A successful applicant would walk away richer by 3,000 to 5,000 Thai baht (approximately $115 to $190 CAD). All you have to do is breathe on him. He’d breathe on you. For perspective, it seems better than trading bodily fluids, some of which do carry coronavirus all too easily. Additionally, alcohol and party drugs are on the table, but not sex. But what if, unluckily, you don’t have COVID-19? There’s a commission of 600 baht (a bit over $20 CAD) commission if you can refer him to someone who does have the notorious respiratory virus.
This post could be the work of a bug chaser or good old-fashioned masochist, but Thai insurance officials think an insurance claim was likely the goal.
In Thailand, insurance companies have been offering plans covering COVID-19, with payouts as high as 200,000 baht (over $7,500 CAD) if you catch the virus. By midway through 2021, people were cashing out at rates ten times higher than at the start of the pandemic. Some policy providers stopped providing COVID-19 insurance, presumably because they smelled something fishy. Even more telling is the fact Thailand’s Office of Insurance Commission began an investigation and warning people that anyone who deliberately gets COVID-19 will be charged with fraud. At that time, there were many viral videos of people celebrating after payouts from the insurance policy.
According to a local report, the man responsible for the Line post has been identified and guess what: he does own a COVID-19 insurance plan. This was brought to the attention of the insurance authority, which then threatened legal action.
This could be a criminal offence with penalties including fine of up to 300,000 baht (around $11,350 CAD) and even imprisonment of up to three years, according to local reports.