Coronavirus patient ESCAPES from hospital isolation unit – major police hunt launched

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Coronavirus patient ESCAPES from hospital isolation unit – major police hunt launched

Breaking News (Image: SALZBURG.INFO)

Officials in the Austrian city of Salzburg said the 31-year-old woman had fled the Landeskliniken Salzburg hospital overnight. Hospital bosses raised the alarm this morning and informed police and local authorities of the escape. They said the woman was admitted to hospital yesterday with flu-like symptoms and was suspected of being infected with coronavirus.

The woman was admitted to the isolation ward of the university hospital for security reasons.

City of Salzburg spokesman

Police later said they had located the woman at her home address in Salzburg and returned her to hospital using powers under Austria’s epidemic act and public order legislation.

Officials are now trying to establish her whereabouts in the hours after she left the hospital and who she may have come into contact with.

The woman, an Austrian national, had traveled to New Zealand via Taiwan and developed respiratory problems on the flight home.

Coronavirus patient ESCAPES from hospital isolation unit – major police hunt launched

Austrian police launched a major search after the suspected coronavirus patient fled hospita (Image: GETTY)

Once back in Salzburg she called a national health service hotline and after she described her symptoms an ambulance specially equipped for infections rushed her into hospital.

The patient showed symptoms such as coughing. Her state of health was not classified as serious.

She was being confined in isolation while samples were sent to Vienna for analysis. Doctors said they expected the results this afternoon.

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There have already been a number of suspected coronavirus cases in Austria.

A couple from Salzburg were placed in isolation last week after returning from Shanghai with breathing difficulties.

In Vienna 500 beds have been earmarked for people with the disease, with a further 200 available in private hospitals if required.

The coronavirus epidemic, which began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, has spread rapidly in with nearly 25,000 people infected and 490 deaths, mostly in Wuhan and the surrounding province of Hubei.

(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)


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