A Whyalla man who coughed in a police officer’s face and claimed that he was carrying the coronavirus has been arrested.

Police were called to a house following reports of a disturbance before 10:00am on Monday morning.

A 35-year-old man, who was charged with aggravated assault, allegedly turned to a police officer while being arrested to say that he had “corona.”

Police allege that the man then coughed in an officer’s face.

Under South Australian laws the man faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty of aggravated assault on an emergency services worker.

The news follows a string of assaults in other states where people have reportedly spat at and coughed on emergency services workers.