An Indonesian man is reportedly facing arrest after disguising himself as his wife in order to board a flight.
The man, who has been publicly identified only by the initials “DW,” boarded a Citilink domestic flight from Jakarta to Ternate while wearing a niqab that covered him from head to toe, reports CNN affiliate CNN Indonesia.
The disguise was intended to enable the man to fly even though he had reportedly tested positive for Covid-19. His wife, however, had tested negative, so he used her ID and negative PCR test results in order to board the plane at Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport in Jakarta, says the report.
It’s unclear if the man would have been caught had he not given up on his ruse in mid-air.
A flight attendant reportedly told authorities that she saw “DW” go into an airplane bathroom, then come out wearing men’s clothes instead of the niqab – a full-face veil with an opening for the eyes. She notified airport authorities in Ternate, who detained the passenger upon disembarking from the plane.
An on-site health officer immediately tested the man for Covid-19, and the PCR test came back positive, according to officials.
After that, “the airport immediately contacted the Ternate City Covid-19 Handling Task Force team to evacuate the man while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), and then taking him in an ambulance to his house (in Ternate City) to self-isolate, where he will be supervised by Task Force officers,” Ternate Covid-19 Task Force Operational Head Muhammad Arif Gani told reporters.
Once his self-isolation period is complete, local police have stated they intend to prosecute “DW.”
Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across Indonesia. The fourth most populous country in the world is currently Asia’s hotspot for the disease, and many of the newest cases are confirmed to be the deadly Delta variant.
As of July 21, nearly three million cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Indonesia, with 74,920 deaths recorded.
On top of that, vaccine rollout has been slow. Only about 6% of the total population is fully vaccinated so far.
A health survey published in early July revealed that close to half of the people tested in Jakarta had Covid antibodies, meaning the outbreak in the capital may have been much bigger than previously believed.
Garuda Indonesia, which is Citilink’s parent company, has restricted travel during the Eid Al-Adha holiday (July 19-25) to essential personnel and people with urgent needs only.
CNN’s Amy Sood contributed reporting.