COVID-19: Sri Lanka authorities arrest escaped patient after massive manhunt

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Sri Lankan authorities arrested a COVID-19 patient on Friday hours after he had escaped from a hospital on the outskirts of the capital while receiving treatment, police said.

Early on Friday, the police and army launched a massive manhunt to catch a 41-year-old drug addict infected with COVID-19 who had escaped from the National Infectious Disease Hospital, spreading panic across Colombo, police said.

He was transferred to the National Infectious Disease Hospital on the outskirts of Colombo as he tested positive for the COVID-19 and needed urgent treatment.

The Kandakadu Drug Rehabilitation Centre has become a COVID-19 infection cluster as several inmates and staff have tested positive for the virus in recent days.

Police said the patient had escaped early Friday morning and several policemen and army teams were deployed to track him down.

Police released details of the patient along with his picture and sought public assistance to nab him.

Police described him as having an injury to his left leg and walked with a limp.

“Sri Lanka has to date reported 2,753 COVID-19 patients since the first local patient was detected in March,’’ the Health Ministry said.

Out of the total reported, 2,077 patients have recovered and been discharged while 11 deaths have been reported.

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