The transport company said the man was drunk.
The video shows the man calmly standing in a metro car loaded with people.
One of the passengers filmed the man as he removed the mask from his mouth and started smearing his saliva on a pole with his hand.
The man’s disturbing actions come amid mounting fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a respiratory infection that has so far claimed the lives of more than 4,000 people. Belgium has confirmed 267 cases of the virus.
L’homme (en état d’ivresse) a été interpellé par la police et notre service de sécurité. La rame de métro a été retirée du service pour être désinfectée. Merci pour votre message. Nos métros sont nettoyés chaque jour.
— STIB-MIVB (@STIBMIVB) March 9, 2020
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The video has been shared thousands of times on social media, prompting the public transportation company to respond.
In a tweet, the Stib-MIVB transport company reported that police arrested the man, who was drunk.
“The subway train was withdrawn from service to be disinfected. Thank you for your message. Our metros are cleaned every day,” the company assured.