A COVID-19 patient and two persons under observation for the virus escaped their respective hospital and quarantines, only to be tracked down and returned to confinement, authorities said today.
Eastern Police District Chief Jaime Santos told CNN Philippines that a woman in San Juan City allegedly attempted to escape authorities after she tested positive for the virus on Thursday. While the district chief didn’t offer details of the woman’s case, he said she drove off in her car and was chased by the police. Authorities were able to apprehend her at a Quezon City parking lot, and allegedly pleaded with the woman for two hours before she came back with them to the hospital.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora gave a much tamer version in a statement, saying that when the woman tested positive for the disease, she headed to her preferred hospital. When she was told she couldn’t be accommodated, police and health officials “escorted” her to a different hospital, GMA News reports.
Police Chief Santos said the police officers who escorted the woman will undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine in case they were also infected.
Meanwhile, two other potential patients under observation for the virus also allegedly escaped their quarantines in Sarangani province.
Lt. Col. Rainer Diaz, Police Regional Office 11 operations management chief, said in a memo leaked to the media today that the two were sisters, and had fled to Davao City to catch a flight to Manila. From Manila, they were supposedly planning to fly to Japan. The sisters escaped on Thursday, but police were able to track them down in a Davao City hotel earlier today, Rappler reports.
Police said the siblings are now confined in an isolation facility at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
The COVID-19 patient and the two siblings all fled authorities on the same day that President Rodrigo Duterte announced Metro Manila would be put under so-called “community quarantine” — or virtual lockdown, more prosaically.
Local government authorities outside the city are also empowered to enforce a mandatory quarantine on villages if at least two people from different households have been infected with the virus. Provinces are also advised to impose a quarantine if at least two people from different municipalities or cities contract the disease.
This article, Not-so-Great-Escape: COVID-19 patient, two suspected cases flee hospital, quarantine, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!