The 36-year-old patient, identified by his initials as Ud, was spotted in the garden of his house in Tonggouna Village, Sawa Sub-district, North Konawe District, at around 11:40 a.m. local time, North Konawe District Head H. Ruksamin confirmed.
Ud did not resist the attempt of officers to take him to the ambulance that arrived at the scene along with the district head's car, he remarked.
"Ud ran away from Bahterams Hospital since he was afraid of being treated along with COVID-19 patients, who had long been kept in the isolation room," Ruksamin was quoted as saying in connection with Ud.
The district head stated that Ud had tested negative for COVID-19 since he showed no physical signs of having contracted the coronavirus infection as was observed in COVID-19 positive patients.
Clarity had yet to be gained on whether Ud would be taken to Bahterams Hospital or North Konawe Hospital.
Ud was admitted to the hospital on Sunday (April 26) after testing positive for COVID-19 based on the result of a rapid test, spokesman for the Southeast Sulawesi Provincial COVID-19 Task Force Dr La Ode Rabiul Awal stated on Tuesday.
The patient had run away from the isolation room when medical workers were planning to take a swab sample from his throat, he remarked.
"When medical workers reached the treatment room to take a swab sample for the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test, the patient was nowhere to be found," he revealed.
The doctor alleged that the patient had fled the hospital over fear or stress.
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EDITED BY INE