Russian woman in court for fleeing Covid-19 quarantine

MOSCOW, Feb 15 (NNN-AGENCIES) — A Russian hospital filed a lawsuit against a woman for escaping her Covid-19 quarantine, complaining of being forcibly held and given inedible meals.

The head doctor of the Botkin hospital in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg took the highly unusual action against Alla Ilyina to force her to return and undergo medical observation, the city’s court service said in a statement.

A hearing has been scheduled for next Monday. According to Russian laws, leaving quarantine is punishable by a fine.

The woman arrived from Hainan, a Chinese resort island popular with Russians, by plane on Feb 1.

She was examined several times and eventually diagnosed with “acute virus illness” which did not rule out that this could be the new coronavirus, the local branch of the state health watchdog said in a statement.

They confined her on Feb 6 for 14 days but Ilyina fled from the hospital after two days, which “could lead to the spread of a dangerous infectious disease” in the city, the watchdog said.

Ilyina gave her version of events in videos on her Instagram account.

In one video, Ilyina says the doctors told her the tests came back clear and promised to discharge her after one day.

While in quarantine, she complained of a lack of necessities such as shampoo and bland meals.

Local news site Fontanka reported Friday that three other young Russians later fled quarantine at the same hospital on Feb 11.

Russia has had two confirmed cases of infection, both Chinese citizens, who were successfully treated.

Russia’s aviation authorities said they have banned charter flights to China by Russian companies from Friday.

Most Russian airlines have also stopped regular flights to China, with only the flagship airline Aeroflot still serving routes to and from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. — NNN-AGENCIES