A man suspected of having contracted the novel Coronavirus has fled from the hospital in Mangaluru, resulting in the district administration launching a search.
On March 8, a man whose identity has been withheld was diagnosed with cough and cold on his return from Dubai to Mangalore, although he did not have a high temperature. He was then shifted to the Wenlock Hospital in the coastal city for further tests.
Although he tested negative on the Coronavirus tests administered, he was kept under observation. Overnight, he is reported to have left the hospital without informing the authorities. The hospital immediately notified the Mangaluru South police station.
The hospital authorities say they have already taken his samples for further tests and also have his complete contact details. Since all efforts to contact him and the family have so far been futile, the police have even posted personnel at his Mangaluru residence and all their friends and family are being contacted for the whereabouts.
Over 20,000 passengers have been screened at the Mangaluru International Airport, with no positive cases detected so far.
Meanwhile, another confirmed case of the deadly virus has been reported from the neighbouring state of Kerala, with a 3-year old in Ernakulam having tested positive. The child had travelled to Italy and is suspected to have contacted the virus during the travel.
Even as the 3-year old is in the isolation ward of Ernakulam Medical College, the family members and others who had come in contact with the child are also being screened and their samples being sent for tests.
Kerala, which is the first state to report Coronavirus in India, has reported five other new cases of the deadly virus, all from the district of Pathanamthitta. Three of those who have tested positive had travelled to Italy and after their return, two of their family members also have contacted the Coronavirus.
In view of these fresh cases, the Kerala government has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the Pathanamthitta district for three days.
Kerala health minister lambasted the three patients who had evaded the health screening process on return from Italy and in turn, passed on the virus to their relatives in Ranni of Pathanamthitta.
"Those who return from outside the country, especially from nations which are affected by Coronavirus should contact us and voluntarily get screened. Failing to do this will be considered as a crime," KK Shailaja said.