Man With COVID-19 Pretended to Be His Wife to Get Onto Flight, Cops Say
Indonesia, where the man is reportedly located, is a hotbed for COVID-19. Many of the most recent cases have been confirmed to be that of the deadly Delta variant.
Police said a flight attendant aboard a Citilink plane traveling from Jakarta to Ternate Sunday noticed a person changing clothes in the bathroom, the Associated Press reported.
The person was wearing a niqab, which is a traditional full-face veil with an opening for the eyes, but the flight attendant said that when they left the bathroom, he was wearing men’s clothes, the AP said. She then notified police.
The man allegedly donned the disguise so he could travel despite reportedly testing positive for coronavirus, CNN reported.
His wife had tested negative, and so he allegedly used her ID and negative test results in order to board the plane at Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport in Jakarta, CNN reported.
“He bought the plane ticket with his wife’s name and brought the identity card, the PCR test result and the vaccination card with his wife’s name. All documents are under his wife’s name,” Ternate police chief Aditya Laksimada said in a statement.
The man was arrested upon landing.
After being put in handcuffs, he was given a COVID-19 test, which came back positive, according to Associated Press.
“The airport immediately contacted the Ternate City Covid-19 Handling Task Force team to evacuate the man while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), and then taking him in an ambulance to his house (in Ternate City) to self-isolate, where he will be supervised by Task Force officers," Ternate COVID-19 Task Force Operational Head Muhammad Arif Gani told reporters.
The suspect is currently self-isolating at home and police said the investigation will continue, the Associated Press reported.
Cops said they do intend to prosecute the passenger, according to CNN.
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Indonesia, which is a hotbed for the virus in Asia, CNN reported. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and their vaccine rollout has been slow with only 6% of the population vaccinated, according to CNN.
As of July 21, the country saw 33,772 new confirmed cases and 1,383 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of reported cases is 2.9 million with 77,583 fatalities, according to the Associated Press.
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