After a week’s search, Villupuram's missing COVID-19 patient found 100km away

A police team from Villupuram found the missing COVID-19 patient at Padalam near Madurantakam on Tuesday.

Published: 15th April 2020 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th April 2020 06:35 AM   |  A+A-

Villupuram district Superintendent of Police S Jeyakumar giving the lorry driver a cash reward for giving information about the missing Covid-19 patient

Express News Service

VILLUPURAM: Villupuram police finally found the COVID-19 patient who had been discharged from a government hospital by mistake last week. The man, a migrant from Delhi, was found in Padalam near Maduranthagam, 100km away from where he’d last been seen, on Tuesday evening. He was brought to Villupuram for treatment and four persons, who had been in contact with him, were admitted to the government medical college hospital at Chengalpattu.
According to police, the 30-year-old man had come to Puducherry for an interview. He booked in two cases and remanded in central prison in the union territory. He was released on March 16 and spent a few days in Puducherry. He came to Villupuram on March 21 and planned to return to Delhi by hitching a ride on a truck. However, he was stranded after the nationwide lockdown came into force.
Villupuram police noticed he had symptoms of COVID-19 and took him to the Government General Hospital. He was tested but his first test was inconclusive. While the results of a second test were pending, he was mistakenly discharged along with 25 others on April 7. Four of the 26 discharged later tested positive. Police found the other three as they were local residents but were unable to locate this man. Based on a complaint from a health department official, a case was filed against him at Villupuram West police station and seven police teams were formed to find him. Police also issued a wanted notice in three languages and sent it to nearby districts.
On Tuesday, P Bhoothapandi, a 43-year-old lorry driver from Singampatti near Ambasamuthiram in Tirunelveli district, told Villupuram district police that he had seen the missing man at the layby at Padalam near Maduranthagam in Chengalpattu district. A police team rushed there and confirmed that he was the man they were looking for.
Villupuram district superintendent of police S Jeyakumar, who also went to the spot, ensured the man was safely sent to the Government Villupuram Medical College Hospital in Mundiyampakkam by ambulance. On questioning the man, police learnt that he had been at the spot for the past few days and had direct contact with four persons there. Police sent the four persons to the Chengalpattu Government Medical College Hospital where they were admitted to the isolation ward. Samples were lifted from them for testing, said police. 
Police will be further questioning the man to put together a detailed travel history. They will then alert the people he had made contact with. Meanwhile, the Villupuram SP praised lorry driver Bhoothapandi and gave him a cash reward of Rs 1,000.

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