COVID-infected man faked a coronavirus certificate to travel


  • Santiago Solans Portillo went home to Argentina, boarding a flight from Miami, Florida despite knowing he tested positive for COVID-19.
  • He admitted that he tested positive upon his arrival at Buenos Aires airport.
  • He was arrested and brought to a local sanitary hotel to quarantine.

Officials told that a 29-year-old man named Santiago Solans Portillo was set to ride a plane bound to his home country Argentina on Saturday, whose COVID-test results came out positive.

Even with the result, he did not divulge the information upon his arrival in Miami airport to board a flight home to Argentina. Portillo even presented a medical certificate, claiming that he was “healthy” so he could fly.

The following day when he landed in Buenos Aires, health authorities got his temperature and discovered he had a fever of 38.5 degrees. He then admitted to contracting the virus. He was arrested and brought to a Buenos Aires sanitary hotel to quarantine for the time being.

Speaking with reporters, Argentina’s top immigration official Florencia Carignano expressed her disappointment on the incident.

“Due to this irresponsible, selfish behavior, 200 people are at risk despite having done the right thing while traveling,” she said.

Some of the wealthy Argentines, Portillo included, have become tired of waiting for the shots and decided to fly to Miami to secure vaccines. It was not clear if Portillo was able to get the vaccine while in Miami, though Argentine officials claimed that he obtained a medical certificate in a clinic in Hollywood, Florida.

So far, Buenos Aires city health authorities have tracked down 14 people within Portillo’s circle during the plane ride. Those people were already directed to go on self-isolation for at least seven days. It was still unclear whether anybody had tested positive for the virus.

Carignano said that Portillo could suffer imprisonment for a minimum of three years to a maximum of 15 years for violating a COVID-19 based law. She added that his case would be furthered if any of his fellow travelers would contract the virus.

In a similar protocol with other nations, Argentina mandates international travelers coming from the US to issue a proof of a negative test result or a medical certificate of recovering from the virus before boarding the plane. Given the present crisis, most parts of the borders remain closed except for permanent residents or citizens.

In recent weeks, Argentina faced a resurgence of COVID-19 infections. The nation reached the three million-mark and recorded a daily high of new cases in April. Hospitalizations have also surged as COVID-19 patients were struggling to be nursed.

Inoculation campaigns in Latin America have been largely interrupted due to the scarcity of vaccine supplies. According to the vaccine monitoring data by the Washington Post, about seven million Argentinians have already received at least their first dose as of May 3. Vaccines are being hoarded by the US and other developed countries.

Source: Yahoo News

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