More than 200 hundred passengers on a WestJet flight headed to Montego Bay in Jamaica were given a scare yesterday, February 3, when a passenger announced that he recently travelled to China and had contracted the new Coronavirus.
The 29-year-old Canadian man, made the statement when the plane was two hours into its flight.
WestJet flight attendants reportedly gave the man a mask and gloves and moved him to the back of the plane, in keeping with their guidelines for infectious diseases, the airline said in a statement.
According to CBC News reports, the plane’s captain told the 243 passengers on board that they had to return to Toronto as they could not continue to Jamaica or land in the US, which they were nearest to. The captain also said he thought the alert was a hoax.
The man was arrested and charged with mischief when the flight returned to Canada. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 9.
WestJet also issued an apology to all its passengers.
The new Coronavirus, which originated in Wuhuan, China, has killed than 425 people in China with more than 20,400 confirmed infections.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
More than 25,000 flights to the country have been cancelled since the outbreak.