As many as twenty COVID-19 patients were reported to have escaped from a COVID-care centre in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district in the Vidarbha region, said officials on Sunday.
District authorities said the incident occurred on Saturday at a local CCC set-up in Ghatanji taluk.
Based on a complaint lodged by health officials, the Ghatanji police have registered an FIR against the 20 patients under relevant sections.
Yavatmal Collector Amol Yedge said a search was on to trace the escaped patients who cut loose from their quarantine on the morning of April 24.
“Such utterly irresponsible behaviour will only result in a further surge in cases and fatalities in the district. Instructions have been given to take criminal action against the patients who escaped. A committee will be formed to probe and control such actions in the future,” he said.
Local health officials said 19 patients had tested positive for COVID-19 during a sample testing camp that was organised on April 23. They, along with another patient, broke loose from their quarantine the next day.
Yavatmal was among the first districts in the Vidarbha region (along with Amravati and Buldhana) to report a spike in cases, which contributed to the second wave of infections in Maharashtra. The district had reported relatively low cases and fatalities last year, but it today has more than 9,500 active cases and nearly 800 deaths. It is reporting nearly 1,300 new cases each day.