Covid-19 patient escapes from hospital to buy food

By Hoang Phuong   June 6, 2021 | 12:31 am PT
Covid-19 patient escapes from hospital to buy food
A medical center in Hiep Hoa District, Bac Giang Province. Photo courtesy of Hoa Hiep Medical Center.
A 22-year-old man infected with novel coronavirus climbed a wall to get out of a field hospital in Covid-19 hotspot Bac Giang Province to buy food, local authorities said.

Hoang Cong Bo, chairman of Hiep Hoa District in Bac Giang Province, confirmed Saturday that the incident took place on Thursday and local authorities were considering punishing the man for breaching pandemic prevention protocols.

The man, an employee of mobile phone components maker Samkwang Co., Ltd. in the Quang Chau Industrial Park, had been transferred to the field hospital in Hiep Hoa District on May 23 after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

On June 3, he climbed over the hospital’s wall and went out to buy cakes, milk and soft drinks at a grocery store. He wore a face mask, stood one meter away from the shopkeeper and then climbed the wall back to the center.

"Local authorities have provided enough food and essential personal items for Covid-19 patients and those in quarantine facilities," said Bo, adding that the initial investigations indicate the patient had escaped from the hospital after "words of encouragement of some individuals."

Three people in close contact with the patient and 12 others related to those having contacted the patient have been sent to centralized quarantine facilities. All stores around the hospital have been forced to close down until further notice.

Local police have been tasked with investigating the incident and assessing the potential of the patient spreading the virus among the community, causing new outbreaks.

The field hospital, which is currently treating 247 Covid-19 patients, has two checkpoints manned by a security team inside the hospital and police officers outside. How the man managed to escape notice of the security personnel has not been made clear.

Bac Giang has recorded 3,058 infections in Vietnam’s new Covid-19 wave that started April 27. Most of the infected are industrial park workers.

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