A coronavirus patient escaped from a Hong Kong hospital and spent two days on the lam before being captured, according to reports.
Li Wan-keung, 63, who was identified as patient 7379, sparked a police manhunt after bolting from the isolation ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Friday, the South China Morning Post reported.
“He was arranged to stay in the isolation ward and we have arranged security guards outside to prevent the abscondence again,” Hospital Authority official Dr. Lau Ka-hin said Monday, according to the outlet.
Li, who was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 14, put on a jacket over his hospital clothes and escaped via a stairwell at 5 p.m. Friday, according to Reuters.
He was caught in the territory’s working class neighborhood of Mong Kok about 11 p.m. Sunday, officials said.
It remained unclear why Li fled or where he might have gone before being apprehended.
While he was in a stable condition, Li still had some symptoms of infection and posed a risk to others, an authority official said, the South China Morning Post reported.
“After confirming his identity, he was ordered to remain at the site and the area was cordoned off while waiting instructions from the Department of Health on where he should be sent,” a police source told the outlet.
Li also had made an unsuccessful attempt to leave the ward the day before his escape, the paper reported.
Hospital workers had been alerted about his first escape attempt, but officials suggested he had succeeded the second time when he had “moved too quickly” while staffers were busy.
Police said people who escape quarantine may face fines of up to $645 and up to two months imprisonment.
Hong Kong has so far reported more than 8,000 coronavirus cases and 130 deaths.