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Escaping quarantine, lying, and demanding luxury treatment: Amid Coronavirus outbreak, recklessness of individuals puts larger population at risk

It is rather shocking to know such hindrance to fighting the global health menace of Coronavirus in India is coming from the so-called educated section of the society. The Agra woman's father, a railway engineer, had lied to officials that his daughter has left for Bengaluru.

A 25-year-old woman from whose husband, a Google employee working in Bengaluru who had himself tested positive for coronavirus, has also tested positive on Friday, reports Times of India.

According to the reports, the couple had recently returned from her honeymoon in Italy and was put under quarantine after her husband showed symptoms of the disease. However, in a dangerous incident, the wife had escaped from Bengaluru on March 8, took a flight to New Delhi and travelled to Agra to be with her parents.

Reportedly, the health officials said that they faced resistance when they visited her house. The woman was staying with eight other family members and the health officials could only move them to isolation wards after the district magistrate intervened and a police force was called.

Agra Chief Medical Officer Dr Mukesh Kumar Vats said, “After the medical team reached the house of the woman’s parents, her father, a railway engineer, refused to cooperate with us and lied that his daughter had left for Bengaluru. But after the district magistrate’s intervention, we were able to gain access to their house and took all the nine family members to the district hospital for screening.”

A health official, who interacted with the woman in SN Medical College revealed that the woman got married to the Bengaluru-based Google employee in early February. The couple had left for their honeymoon soon afterwards to Italy and later travelled to Greece and France. They landed at Mumbai airport on February 27 and flew back to Bengaluru.

However, on March 7, her husband tested positive for COVID-19 and they were both quarantined in Bengaluru. Later, the woman informed her parents about her situation and she returned to Agra on March 8. She took a Bengaluru-New Delhi flight and later travelled by train to Agra.

Read: From bar-hopping, deliberately spreading the infection, to escaping medical facilities: How some reacted to Coronavirus around the world

Later, reports from Aligarh Medical College mentioned the woman as highly suspected COVID-19-infected patient. A senior doctor associated with the isolation program of the COVID-19 in Agra said that the newly married woman is the first positive corona-infected patient admitted to SN Medical College.

As the lady tested positive for the Coronavirus, her samples have been sent to Pune-based National Institute of Virology for further tests. Since she travelled by air, there is also a high chance that passengers sitting near her in two rows back, front and side, might also be infected with COVID-19, the doctor said.

The shocking case of wilful negligence by a section of the society during a global epidemic like COVID-19 is worrisome. More such cases of apathy and deliberate indifference towards an epidemic have been reported in the country too. The affected patients and individuals who showed the symptoms of carrying the deadly virus have been running away from the quarantine facilities and are increasing the chances of epidemic being spread to unaffected masses.

On Saturday, five COVID-19 suspects escaped from isolation ward of Mayo Hospital from Nagpur further spreading the deadly virus out in the public. One of the five suspected had tested negative and reports of the other were awaited. The authorities have now traced them and have been brought back to the quarantine facility.

Similarly, two coronavirus suspects fled from Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh after they felt afraid of being quarantine. However, they were later caught and quarantined at Zirakpur on Thursday night. The two, who had just come from Italy to attend a wedding, refused to be quarantined in Nalagarh and fled to Zirakpur for the wedding. The officials had to employ security personnel to confine them in quarantine.

In another bizarre incident, which reflects the lack of seriousness regarding the spread of COVID-19, an IIT-M research scholar indulged in pranking her co-passengers by claiming that she was carrying Coronavirus. The research scholar was playing ‘truth or dare’ with her friends, who had asked her to stop the bus. The girl created a scare onboard a Chennai-Coimbatore bus claiming she had the virus so that she could stop the bus.

The panicked co-passengers in the bus had informed the authorities, who had a difficult time tracking down the so-called ‘patient’, only to learn that it was her idea of a ‘prank’.

Reportedly, some persons after arriving from coronavirus affected Italy to the Indian Army quarantine base in Haryana’s Manesar created chaos demanding better facilities. After reaching there, the suspected patients started complaining about the amenities provided by the Indian Army. They demanded separate rooms with attached washroom and other facilities at the barracks which were converted into a quarantine base.

It is rather shocking to know such hindrance to fighting the global health menace of Coronavirus in India is coming from the so-called educated section of the society. It is notable here that the government of India has been showing a remarkable level of concern, and action as compared to other nations as far as the coronavirus pandemic is concerned. Large groups of dedicated personnel and wide levels of resources have been made available for the public to set up quarantine facilities, and provide treatment.

While dedicated health personnel and other government officials work day and night to ensure the highly contagious disease is halted on its tracks, such careless behaviour not only endangers the concerned persons themselves and the people around them, but also helps create panic and aides in further spread of the disease.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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