On Friday, officials revealed that an Irish national suspected to have contracted the deadly coronavirus fled from a hospital in Odisha’s Cuttack city where he was admitted to an isolation ward.
The person exhibited flu-like symptoms on being screened at the Biju Patnaik International airport in Bhubaneswar on Thursday and was taken to the city’s Capital Hospital. He fled the premise on the same night.
B Maharana emergency officer of the hospital said that the man was referred to the isolation ward of SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack along with another person who was accompanying him.
“However, it’s not yet clear how both of them escaped. Once someone is suspected to be infected with coronavirus, he/she has to be kept in isolation. It’s compulsory,” said a health department official.
“We are trying to find out the exact timeline of how it happened. We have lodged a case with Mangalabag police station,” he said.
Naba Kishore Das, Odisha's health minister urged Union health minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, to set up a COVID-19 testing laboratory at SCB Medical College and Hospital. Since there is no testing lab, all samples have to be sent to the virology institute in Pune.
India had started out strong with just three imported cases of the novel virus-- all quarantined in Kerala. However, just as news of their complete recovery made headlines, a bomb dropped with two other cases-- one in New Delhi and one in Telangana with travel histories to other infected countries. Soon after, an Italian tourist and his wife were found to test positive. The infected people were travelling with 21 other Italian tourists, a majority of whom on Wednesday were found to have contracted the virus.
On Wednesday, a Paytm employee in Gurugram also tested positive for the novel virus. The next day another man in Ghaziabad was found to test positive for the disease, bringing the total tally of infections in India to 30.