A 28-year-old musician, Potok Philippe, had caused a flight from Toronto to Jamaica to turn back and make an emergency landing after the musician declared he just came back from Hunan province in China and he is not feeling too well.
“Can I get everybody’s attention, please. I just came back from Hunan province, the capital of the coronavirus. I’m not feeling too well. Thank you.”
According to Metro.UK, the airline official made the musician wear a mask and gloves as they escorted him off the plane.
Potok later claimed it was simply a joke and that he had hoped to go viral on Instagram with the prank.
He was arrested and charged with mischief.
‘About midway through the flight, I stood up, pulled my video camera out – I was going to post it to Instagram, send it to 6ixbuzz so it goes viral.’
He said he was shocked when nobody laughed and said within 15 minutes cabin crew staff were wearing masks and put him in a mask and gloves as well. Video and pictures filmed by other passengers showed him being escorted from his seat by staff.
Potok added: ‘I’m very, very sorry for my ignorance and not understanding that it’s an epidemic, that people hear the word and it become synonymous with threats.
“I thought it would spark a reaction. I did not think what I was doing would be considered illegal [or] warrant that type of response.”