He covered his face and hoped for the best, but his plan to disguise himself as his wife ultimately failed.
Putting on a niqab – a veil worn by some Muslim women – an Indonesian man who tested positive for Covid-19 boarded a plane traveling from Jakarta, the capital of the Southeast Asian nation, to the city of Ternate on Sunday, police told The Associated Press.
“He bought the plane ticket in his wife’s name and brought the ID card,” Ternate police chief Aditya Laksimada said. He did not identify the man, but added that all of his documents, including his vaccination card, were “in his wife’s name”. “
The man’s ruse was started when a flight attendant noticed the man had changed clothes in the open-air toilet and was arrested when the plane landed, police said.
Tested for Covid-19, the result came back positive, police said, adding that he was self-isolating at home and that the investigation will continue.
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Indonesia is experiencing an unusually bleak Eid al-Adha holiday as it is currently in the throes of a devastating coronavirus wave, reporting tens of thousands of cases per day, as the highly virulent Delta variant crosses the archipelago .
The Muslim-majority nation reported more than 49,000 new cases on Thursday, bringing its total to just over 3 million, according to data from John’s Hopkins University. Indonesia also reported 1,449 deaths on Thursday – a record according to Johns’ Hopkins.
Experts fear the number may be higher given the country’s slow testing and monitoring system.
The country is under partial lockdown and there are restrictions on non-essential travel. Only people who work in essential sectors and those with urgent needs can travel. All travelers must present a negative coronavirus test.
The crisis was fueled by a slow rollout of vaccines. Just over 8% of Indonesia’s 270 million people received both doses, according to its health ministry.
In scenes surprisingly similar to those in Asia’s worst-hit country India, hospitals are on the brink of blackout as medical supplies, including oxygen tanks, and available beds are dangerously low.
Images of grieving loved ones in crowded cemeteries have become a symbol of Indonesia’s health crisis, while heartbreaking messages from people remembering loved ones flood social media.
The Associated Press contributed.