A young man who was being kept in a Coronavirus isolation ward at a government hospital in Kerala ‘escaped’ on Monday night, and was ‘captured’ again from his home today morning.
The man, a resident of Vechuchira, was being kept in the isolation ward of the general hospital of Pathanamthitta in Kerala for the past several days.
He had interacted with someone who later developed Coronavirus symptoms. Initially kept in quarantine, he was moved to the isolation ward at the hospital after he started developing symptoms of Covid 19 infection.
Kerala has adopted a two step process for observing those who have been exposed to Coronavirus.
The first step involves quarantining them, usually at home. In case these people develop symptoms such as fever, sneezing and so on, they are moved to isolation wards at government hospitals and medical colleges.
People being kept in the isolation ward are under the observation of hospital staff. However, they are allowed to step out to the toilet area.
On Monday evening, said police sources, the man stepped out of his room, and the hospital staff assumed that he was headed to the toilet.
However, when he did not return after half an hour, the hospital authorities first tried to locate the person themselves.
Finally, the search was escalated to the local health department and finally, to the police.
Police managed to track him down to his house. Now, the man’s family members and others that he interacted with on his brief ‘outing’ have been kept under observation.
The district collector indicated that the man will be prosecuted for endangering public health.
Meanwhile, another victim of Coronavirus in the area — a two-year-old child — has been moved to an isolation ward in a hospital.
The child belongs to one of the families that were visited by the family that came from Italy on February 29. With this, at least two of the households that the Italian family visited are believed to have contracted Coronavirus. Dozens of other families are under observation.