Houston, Mar 30 (PTI) A 14-year-old boy, who allegedly coughed on groceries as a prank at a store in the US state of Texas amidst the coronavirus scare, has been charged with tampering with consumer products, officials said.

The grocer in northwest Harris county called 911 and reported a disturbance, following which the deputies arrived the store, they said.

In a Facebook post, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the deputies responded to the disturbance call at the Food City. He said the teen "intentionally coughed on produce".

"Apparently it was a prank," wrote Gonzalez. "Not a very funny one. The teen was charged with Tampering with Consumer Products."

The incident took place at a time when confirmed cases of novel coronavirus are on the rise in Houston area. As of Sunday noon, COVID-19 cases in the area have climbed to 928.

An estimated 58 people in the area who have tested positive for the virus have recovered, according to reports from a number of health officials.

Meanwhile, Governor Greg Abbott is tightening travel to Texas by ordering some motorists from Louisiana to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The new travel restrictions come as Louisiana's status as a novel coronavirus hotspot grew Sunday to more than 3,500 positive cases statewide. Abbott said drivers with commercial, medical, emergency response, military or critical infrastructure purposes for entering Texas would be exempted.

State troopers will enforce the order at checkpoints at major roadways along the border. Those asked to quarantine will be required to provide an address for where they plan to hold up in Texas, either for two weeks or until their return to Louisiana, whichever comes first.

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