An Ontario man who was on a plane that was getting ready to fly to Jamaica has admitted that the whole situation was created so he could go viral. The man falsely claimed he had coronavirus, causing the Toronto – Jamaica flight to return to the airport.
James Potok told Global News he had his camera with him and was looking to get a viral video. The claim was made and the plane was forced to return to the airport. Authorities and paramedics were waiting in Toronto to handle the situation.
Potok was checked for any signs of coronavirus after landing back in Toronto but he was symptom free. He was charged with mischief and has been scheduled for a court appearance next month. WestJet said the flight had 243 passengers and was on its way to Sangster International Airport on Monday when it was disrupted by an unruly guest.
Coronavirus has seen most of its cases in China but the virus has quickly spread and countries are on high alert. Several cases have been reported outside of China, including in Australia and Vietnam. The virus has led to the deaths of hundreds in China and health authorities there are doing everything they can to control it.
The number of people in China infected with the virus is more than 20,000. Reports say one day saw 3,000 cases. Two people have died outside the mainland, with one of those deaths being in Hong Kong.
The fears of a major spread have forced officials to discuss the cancellation of sporting and tech events. Several sporting events in China have already been postponed or cancelled due to the virus. LG announced just hours ago that it would not make an appearance at MWC 2020.
China’s ZTE does not plan to have a press conference but it will have a stand at MWC, which is one of the biggest tech events of the year. The organizers of the event have reportedly said it is still due to proceed as planned. The event begins later this month and will be there until early March.
BBC Sport recently reported that officials believed that the F1 event scheduled for China in April could be at risk. There is also a belief that the opening event in Vietnam will be delayed. Vietnam has seen eight cases of coronavirus in recent days.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which will take place this summer, is also a major topic among health authorities and countries. Organizers have said they are concerned while Japanese officials have made it clear that they will do everything they can to make it as safe as possible.
The Olympics faced a similar threat during the 2016 edition. At the time, the host, Brazil, was seeing many cases of the Zika virus. The virus saw so many cases that some recommended for the event to be postponed. The Rio Olympics went on without any delays.
The event will have more than 10,000 athletes staying at the Athletes Village. Several reports say the virus has already led to the interruption of some qualifying events for the Olympics.