European man flees from coronavirus isolation ward in Indian hospital

The Irish national was screened at the airport in an eastern Indian city and sent to the isolation ward after showing flu-like symptoms.

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A man who is suspected of having contracted coronavirus has fled a hospital in an Indian city. The incident was reported from the eastern Indian city of Cuttack. The man, an Irish national, had been admitted to the isolation ward in the government hospital in the city.

The emergency officer of the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack said they are still figuring out how the man escaped from the hospital while still under observation. According to reports, another person who accompanied the man has also escaped from the hospital.

The Irish national was screened at the Biju Patnaik International airport in Bhubaneswar. As he showed flu-like symptoms he was taken to the city's Capital Hospital, the Hindustan Times reported. A person accompanying him was also taken to the hospital. They were then referred to the isolation ward of SCB Medical College and Hospital, the report said.

Coronavirus status as of 5 March, 2020
Coronavirus status as of 5 March, 2020 GISAID

"... 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," a health department official of the hospital was quoted as saying by the newspaper. "We are trying to find out the exact timeline of how it happened. We have lodged a case with Mangalabag police station," he added.

SARS-CoV Wikimedia Commons

India has reported 31 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Friday. There has been no death as yet. "One more Covid-19 case in Delhi (resident of Uttam Nagar) has been confirmed, taking the total number of positive cases in the country to 31. The patient has a travel history from Thailand and Malaysia," a senior federal health ministry official said on Friday.

As many as 3,042 people have died from the Covid-19 disease in China so far, the National Health Commission said on Friday. In Singapore, five new coronavirus cases were reported on Friday. In South Korea, 196 new coronavirus cases were reported on Friday, taking the country's total cases to 6,284. Seoul also reported seven more deaths from the virus, bringing the total number of dead to 42. Australia, which reported 60 cases of infection and two deaths from the virus, ordered its first school closure on Friday after a 16-year-old student in Sydney tested positive for the virus.

Coronavirus South Korea
Workers in protective gear spray disinfectant in a market in Daegu, South Korea. Im Hwa-young / Yonhap

Japan, which has seen more than 1,000 infections, is mulling a state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak. The country's ruling and opposition parties have agreed to vote on temporary legislation to declare the emergency on March 12.

Outside of the Asia-Pacific region, countries like Italy, Britain and Iran have reported more deaths and infections. Italy said the number of deaths from the new virus reached 148 and that more than 3,800 people have been infected. The UK reported its first death due to coronavirus on Thursday. The total cases rose to 115. The number of dead rose to 12 in the United States, with 11 deaths being reported from Washington state and one from California.

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