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WestJet flight diverts back to Toronto after passenger's coronavirus claim

WestJet flight diverts back to Toronto after passenger's coronavirus claim”

A passenger jet taking winter-weary Canadians to Jamaica for a sunny holiday was forced to turn back after a passenger falsely claimed to have the coronavirus, the airline said Tuesday.

"WestJet flight 2702 from Toronto to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica, diverted back to Toronto due to an unruly guest", the airline wrote in a statement shared with Fox News.

"A male was causing a disturbance on the flight, saying he had been to China and had the coronavirus", said Sarah Patten, a spokeswoman for police in the town of Peel, close to Toronto's Pearson global airport.

Peel Regional Police confirmed a 28-year-old man from Thornhill was arrested in connection with the incident.

A passenger who spoke with the outlet also claimed to have seen him stand up from his seat, announce that he had recently been to China, and start claiming he had contracted the coronavirus.

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.

She continues by saying that flight attendants then gave him a mask and gloves and instructed him to move to the back of the plane.

The captain was made aware and made the decision to return to Toronto. The accused, whose name has not been released, will reportedly appear in court there on March 9.

WestJet added that law enforcement officials met the plane after it landed back in Toronto.

Reports indicate that there were 243 passengers on board the flight - passengers who had their winter vacation plans disrupted.



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