Flight to Jamaica diverted after man claimed to have coronavirus

Carla Harmon
February 5, 2020

According to reports, the man stood nearly halfway through the four-hour flight carrying 243 passengers and, while taking selfies, declared that he had contracted the virus that has infected more than 20,400 and killed 425.

CBC reported that WestJet said the crew followed all protocols for infectious disease on board, including sequestering the man.

In a statement, a spokesperson for WestJet, Morgan Bell, said law enforcement and medical officials were requested to meet the flight when it arrived back in Toronto.

The airline said flights 2702 and 2703 were cancelled as a result of the incident, but two additional flights were scheduled Tuesday morning to make up for it - one leaving Toronto and one returning from Montego Bay.

WestJet flight 2702 was diverted back to Toronto on Monday morning almost two hours into the flight. "The man was assessed by a doctor and it was determined he did not have the coronavirus".

Peel Regional Police said the man, who has not been named, stood up and told fellow passengers and crew that he had recently been to China and that he had the virus.

Potok said that at no point did he claim he had contracted or had been diagnosed with 2019-nCoV.

The 29-year-old man, who is from the community of Thornhill, has since been charged with mischief. We were flying in the opposite direction all of a sudden and it said our final destination was back in Toronto. According to his parents, James (who goes by Potok Phillipe) was headed to Jamaica to record music. The accused, whose name has not been released, will reportedly appear in court there on March 9.

Other reports by iNewsToday