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COVID positive inmate from Kandakadu is on the loose after escaping from IDH – Police

CAPTURD – Elsiyam Nazeem a COVID 19 infected inmate from Kandakadu who escaped from the IDH this morning has been found

ECONOMYNEXT – Police are seeking public assistance to hunt down a COVID 19 positive inmate from the Kandakadu Rehabilitation camp who has escaped from the Infectious Diseases Hospital near Colombo.

The 41-year-old man, Elsiyam Nazeem, is a native of Sinnampillaisimei, Vallimalar in Trincomalee, a notice issued by Police this morning said.

Nazeem is described as having an injury to his left leg and walks with a limp, the notice said.

He has escaped from the hospital in the early hours of today, Friday, July 24.

Nazeem is “heavily addicted to drugs and is a suspect in various crimes,” Police said.

Col Media Vijitha Hettiarachchi who speaks for the Centre for the Prevention of COVID 19 said that Nazeem had been admitted to Kandakadu on May 20 and confirmed as COVID positive on July 7.

He told EconomyNext that medical staff had initially dispatched him from Kandakadu to the Polonnaruwa Hospital and from there he had been sent to IDH earlier in the week.

Some 561 inmates, staff and close associates at the Kandakadu and Senapura rehabilitation camps near Polonnaruwa have contracted the disease.

The camp authorities set up a hospital in the same facility to isolate and treat the inmates as it was believed that they could not be moved to regular hospitals as recovering drug addicts they had to be treated separately.

There was also the fear that they would escape from regular hospitals.

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However, one patient, probably Nazeem, was transferred to the IDH earlier this week as he had developed symptoms.

The Public is asked to call 119 or the following numbers to report any sightings of Nazeem.

0718591017

0718592290

0718591864

(Colombo, July 24, 2020) Reported by Arjuna Ranawana