Coronavirus patient flees isolation, boards flight to travel 1,931 km to celebrate Holi

The wife of a Google employee in Bengaluru who escaped quarantine after her husband tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday, was traced to a residential colony in Agra on Friday.

A search for her began as soon as her disappearance was reported, with the Railways Ministry eventually notifying Agra authorities of her exact location. She had travelled – via flight from Bengaluru to Delhi and train to Agra – to celebrate Holi at her parents’ home in the city’s Railway Colony.

The 25-year-old woman has been taken to an isolation ward at the Sarojini Naidu Medical College in Agra, where she is being monitored. Her samples have returned positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, railways authorities have asked the woman’s father and sister to undergo home quarantine for 14 days. Other members of her eight-member family are under strict watch.

The Google employee, who has been hospitalised at a Bengaluru hospital, and his wife had recently returned from a honeymoon in Italy, which has been declared the European epicentre of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.

The woman’s disappearance had caused panic after it was confirmed that her husband had been infected with the highly contagious virus.

According to the World Health Organisation, COVID-19 likely spreads through contact with respiratory droplets when a person coughs or exhales, meaning social distancing has been suggested as key in containing the virus.

India has at least 86 positive cases and reported two deaths. The government shut more than half of its land borders with its neighbours and banned the entry of foreigners until April 15.