A 29-year-old man has been arrested after falsifying a Covid-19 test result in order to fly home from Miami to Buenos Aires.
The man, who has not been identified, was taken into custody after presenting a medical certificate stating that he had no symptoms upon arrival at Ezeiza International Airport, in order to elude testing. He had in fact tested positive before boarding the return flight from Florida but concealed the result from the authorities.
Detected by the Immigration Department’s thermal cameras as running a fever and testing positive, the young man admitted to authorities that he had flown to Miami precisely in order to obtain a vaccination. He then concealed an analysis showing him as having tested positive for coronavirus and replaced it with a medical certificate stating that he had no compatible symptoms, Customs sources revealed.
The second test served not only to confirm the first but also included analysis to identify the strain of the virus he was infected with.
As a consequence, carrier American Airlines will be fined for not respecting the negative PCR requirements for entering the country.
The Immigration Department said in a statement that the individual “who hid his positive diagnosis for Covid placed at risk 259 passengers and the 12 crew members bringing him from Miami."
The arrested man, who has been placed in isolation in a downtown hotel in the capital under police guard, will be tried by Judge Federico Villena and faces a possible prison sentence of between 3 and 15 years behind bars for "propagating a dangerous and contagious disease" under Article 202 of the Criminal Code.
"The irresponsibility of one person can cause the death of many others, that’s what we have to bear in mind, placing at stake not only the lives of the 259 people on the plane and following the rules but also everybody who had been in contact with that passenger, placing many lives at risk including his own,” Immigration Department chief Florencia Carignano told reporters.