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COVID-infected man avoids travel restrictions by dressing up as his wife

A man who used a fake identity arrives at the Sultan Babullah airport in Ternate, Indonesia.
A man who used a fake identity arrives at the Sultan Babullah airport in Ternate, Indonesia.   -   Copyright  Harmoko/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
By AP

An Indonesian man who knew he had COVID made it on to a flight by disguising himself as his wife. He boarded the domestic flight from Jakarta by wearing a niqab to cover his face and carrying fake IDs and a negative PCR test.

But the rouse didn't last long.

A flight attendant on the Citilink plane bound for Ternate in North Maluku province saw the man go into the plane toilet and emerge wearing his own clothes.

"He bought the plane ticket with his wife's name and brought the identity card, the PCR test result and the vaccination card with his wife's name. All documents are under his wife's name," Ternate police chief Aditya Laksimada said, after arresting the man upon landing on Sunday. He was only identified by his initials.

Police took him for a COVID-19 test, which came back positive. It is not clear why he went to such lengths to travel.

The man is currently self-isolating at home and police have said the investigation will continue.

Indonesia is in the grip of the worst coronavirus surge in Asia with 33,772 new confirmed cases and 1,383 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of reported cases is 2.9 million with 77,583 fatalities.

Restrictions on non-essential travel, including a mandatory negative coronavirus test, and public gatherings have been tightened over the Eid al-Adha holiday this week.