KEY POINTS

  • Infosys fires employee for social media post on spreading the coronavirus
  • The employee, Mujeeb Mohammad, was arrested in Bengaluru
  • Infosys is an Indian IT services company with offices in several U.S. cities
     

Indian IT services company Infosys (NYSE: INFY) fired an employee after he called for spreading the coronavirus by sneezing in public without covering the face mouth. The man, employed at the company's office in the southern Indian city of Bengalure, was arrested by the police over the Facebook post which has now been deleted. He was identified by local media as Mujeeb Mohammad, a senior technology architect, with Infosys.

The company tweeted Friday (March 27) that it has terminated the services of an employee after an internal investigation.

“Infosys has completed its investigation on the social media post by one of its employees and we believe that this is not a case of mistaken identity. The social media post by the employee is against Infosys’ code of conduct and its commitment to responsible social sharing. Infosys has a zero tolerance policy towards such acts and has accordingly, terminated the services of the employee.”

According to India TV, Mohammad had posted a message on Facebook asking people to spread the deadly coronavirus. “Let's join hands, go out and sneeze with open mouth in public. Spread the virus.”  

After the post received an avalanche of criticism, Infosys on March 26 said it could be "a case of a mistaken identity.” But following an investigation it terminated Mohammed.

Infosys, headquartered in Bengaluru, recorded $11.8 billion in revenue in FY 2019 and has more than 240,000 employees. The company has offices in 17 states in the U.S.

Bengaluru, which is a hub of technology companies and startups, is known as India's Silicon Valley. It is the capital city of the southern Karnataka state, which has so far reported 62 positive cases of the coronavirus.

COVID-19 data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University shows 20 deaths and 902 confirmed cases in India as of 3.00 a.m. Eastern Time. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases has reached 600,000 worldwide as several countries implement lockdowns. The U.S. is leading with 104,839 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,711 deaths. More than 800 people in the country have recovered from the illness.

India has now stepped up preventative coronavirus measures including barring visitors from Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan India has now stepped up preventative coronavirus measures including barring visitors from Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan Photo: AFP / DIPTENDU DUTTA