Governments and police across India are busy tracking people who slipped out of isolation wards or evaded screening for the novel coronavirus infection, which has claimed two lives in India.
Such incidents pose a massive public health risk because of the possibility of mass transit systems, or big gatherings getting exposed to the virus. India has 84 confirmed cases as of Saturday.
The latest case was reported from Jharkhand’s Koderma district, where the health department has sounded a lookout for a 30-year-old man, who is absconding after being asked by doctors to be screened at the hospital on March 13. The man had returned from a Gulf country in February. The district health department didn’t find him at his registered address, and have now asked the police for trace him.
In Maharashtra’s Nagpur city, five people suspected of being infected with the virus escaped from a hospital but were traced later by the police. The five people escaped from the isolation ward of Mayo General Hospital late on Friday.
“One of them had tested negative, reports of four others were awaited. We have traced them and they will be brought back to the hospital by the administration,” S Suryavanshi, sub-inspector of Nagpur police station, said.
In Kerala, two foreigners who slipped out of Alappuzha medical college hospital on Friday after doctors advised them to take Covid-19 tests and get quarantined were located later in Cochin international airport and quarantined, police said. The couple from the United States, now settled in London, had reached Kochi on March 9 and moved to Alappuzha on March 12. One of them later developed diarrhoea and other complications and came to the medical college hospital for a checkup.
In the hospital, they were advised to go to the virology hospital and told to get quarantined. Hospital authorities said they walked out of the premises under the guise of making some phone calls and vanished.
Another such incident was reported from Thiruvananthapuram, where a resident of Haryana ran away from the medical college after he was advised to get admitted to the isolation ward on Friday. He was subsequently located in a hotel and quarantined in a hospital.