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Four patients quarantined in St. Petersburg escape from hospital, two return for tests

One of those who have not showed up for further tests arrived from China at the beginning of this month

ST. PETERSBURG, February 14. /TASS/. Four patients quarantined at the Botkin Hospital in St. Petersburg this week escaped from the health service institution without permission, but two of them eventually returned for further examination, the city office of the consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has told TASS.

"I do confirm that there was such an incident. Two have returned for further examination," Rospotrebnadzor said when asked, if it was true four quarantined patients left the hospital.

One of those who have not showed up for further tests is Alla Ilyuna. The young woman arrived from China at the beginning of this month to have been taken to the Botkin Hospital. St. Petersburg’s chief sanitary doctor Nataliya Bashketova has filed a law suit in court demanding that Ilyuna should undergo mandatory examination. The court hearings are due on February 17. Rospotrebnadzor keeps quiet about if similar measures might be taken in relation to other patients who may leave hospital of their own accord and refuse to undergo further tests.

Bashketova said that medical examination on February 4 and 5 diagnosed Ilyina with an acute viral disease. Infection with the novel coronavirus should not be ruled out.

"The Botkin Hospital provides conditions for patients’ examination and treatment. Upon arrival everybody is warned that violations of quarantine rules might cause the infection to spread and is potentially risky for others. Hospital personnel are not empowered to keep patients by force. They count on people’s common sense first thing," the city’s health service committee said.

An outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease was registered in China’s city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019. The World Health Organization has recognized it as an international emergency and an epidemic with multiple foci. Apart from China some cases of the disease have been identified in 24 countries, including Russia. According to the latest statistics, the virus has killed 1,380 in China. More than 6,700 patients have recovered. More than 63,000 have been infected.