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COVID-19-positive woman escapes from quarantine hotel, recovered after chase

An overseas Filipino worker who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has escaped from a quarantine facility at a subdivision in Quezon City.

According to Saleema Refran’s Wednesday report on “24 Oras", the woman was eventually recovered but only after authorities gave a chase in Barangay Greater Lagro on Sunday.

“Tumakbo siya dito, hinabol siya dito ng mga boy saka ng babae… Nag-stay lang siya do’n sa damuhan hanggang dumating na ‘yong mga pulis may kasamang mga nakasuot ng PPE, kinuha na siya,” homeowners association president Raul Sevilla said.

During a surprise inspection of the hotel that was being used as a quarantine facility, QC officials found out that the woman was a confirmed COVID-19 case.

They were also surprised to learn that the hotel had been converted into an isolation facility for COVID-19-positive OFWs instead of being used as a quarantine area for OFWs awaiting their swab test results.

The facility is run by the Bureau of Quarantine.

“Apparently, this guest is part of the 75 COVID-positive asymptomatic [patients] who are all staying in that property,” Tetta Tirona of the QC Tourism Board said.

“If you look at the hotel right now, there are no cordons anywhere. Constituents are walking within the two to three meters proximity to the entrance of that hotel,” Tirona said.

Officials of Barangay Greater Lagro likewise expressed disappointment.

“Area of responsibility po namin ito at kulang kulang 40,000 na tao ang nasasakupan po natin, so kung magkakaro’n man ng aberya diyan katulad no’ng nangyari na pagtakas takas ng ganiyan, hindi po biro ang pagkontrol ng sakit na ‘to,” chairman Leo Garra said.

The local government of QC said that it would have been able to implement the necessary health and safety protocols in the area if it had been informed early on  that the hotel would be used to house confirmed COVID-19 cases.

GMA News has sought the Department of Health’s comment on the matter but has not yet received a response.

The hotel’s lawyer said the establishment was contracted by the government to serve as a quarantine facility for OFWs.

“We regret that one of our beneficiaries, who suffers from a non-apparent cognitive ailment, managed, during an impaired state, to pass through a secured, locked and unused backdoor,” Atty. Harold Respicio said.

He added that the woman “has since been recovered and taken under a specialized quarantine measure” and the people she came into contact with have also been placed under quarantine.

“The facility has installed additional security personnel to man the areas where persons should keep away, including all possible entry and exit points. All persons with other conditions have been transferred to other facilities,” the lawyer said. -Julia Mari Ornedo/NB, GMA News