The 29-year-old Canadian national pretended to have contracted the Coronavirus, urging the airplane’s crewmembers to follow all protocols for infectious disease.
Rabat – A plane belonging to Canadian airline WestJet flying to Montego Bay in Jamaica had to do a U-turn to Toronto after a passenger stood up and made an “unfounded claim regarding coronavirus” on Monday.
The passenger said that he was recently in China and had caught the virus there according to Canadian media.
The false declaration left the 243 passengers onboard frustrated.
“I guess this guy thought it was a funny joke but it’s just really weird. We were all very frustrated, to just displace 240 people … it’s just so selfish. We’ve lost a day of our vacation,” Peel Region police Const. Bancroft Wright
The flight crewmembers followed all protocols for infectious disease on board and provided the passenger with a medical mask and gloves before isolating him at the back of the airplane.
Law enforcement and paramedics were waiting for the plane at the airport.
Police said that the passenger, James Potok from Vaughan, Ontario, has been charged with mischief. Potok is set to appear in court on March 9.
WestJet later apologized to the passengers and scheduled a second flight on Tuesday.
The death toll from the novel Coronavirus rose to 500 in China while more than 25,000 cases have been reported in 24 countries.