A Candian man falsely announced that he had coronavirus forcing the plane to return to the airport, international media reported. James Potok was detained by the police soon after medical tests proved he was fine, police said on Tuesday. The incident happened on February 3 on a WestJet Airlines flight that was carrying 243 passengers from Toronto to Montego Bay in Jamaica. Potok, while speaking to international media said that it was simply a joke that went wrong.
Narrating the incident, the 28-year-old YouTuber said that about mid-way through the flight he stood up and pulled his video camera out. He then looked around and asked for everybody’s attention. He then said that he had just returned from Hunan Province, the capital of the coronavirus and wasn’t feeling well.
After the plane landed, the 29-year-old man was checked by medical staff who concluded that he did not have coronavirus. He was charged with mischief by the police and is now scheduled to appear in court on March 9. Sarah Patten, a spokeswoman for police in the town of Peel, close to Toronto’s Pearson international airport told media reporters that a male was causing a disturbance on the flight, saying he had been to China and had the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, as the dread of coronavirus intensifies, the United States announced that it is working with a pharmaceutical company to develop a treatment for the deadly virus. As for now, the country has 11 confirmed cases of the virus. The official added that new treatment will be developed using a class of drug that boosted survival rates among Ebola patients. According to reports, both the Department of Health and Human Services and Regeneron will develop monoclonal antibodies to fight the infection, a different line of treatment to the antiretrovirals and flu drugs that have also emerged as possible defences against the disease.