A man was arrested Friday in Chiba Prefecture on suspicion of business obstruction after allegedly delaying a flight at Narita Airport just before takeoff the previous day by telling the crew he had the novel coronavirus.

Norihiro Kojima, 69, is suspected of delaying a Jetstar Japan flight for over an hour and interfering with the business of the low-cost carrier after telling the cabin crew around 4:05 p.m. Thursday that he was infected with the deadly virus.

"I have tested positive but it is OK," he was quoted as saying.

It is unknown whether he is really infected. Kojima, who lives in Toon, Ehime Prefecture, denies making such a statement, according to the police.

Including the crew, there were 114 people on the plane, which was bound for Matsuyama. Following his remark, the crew alerted the captain, who returned the aircraft to the apron, where Kojima was made to get off, the police said.