COVID-19 escapee attempts to burn isolation facility

AN 85-year-old man who escaped from his isolation room at the Region 1 Medical Center when he tested positive for COVID-19, attempted to burn down a town’s isolation facility last September 6 where he was held.

The patient from Barangay Gueset Norte in San Manuel town attempted to burn a section of the isolation facility by burning a table and broke a window glass while being locked inside the Don Primitivo S. Perez Social Hall in San Manuel town.

He was ordered confined at the Region 1 Medical Center on August 30, after testing positive for COVID-19.

However, on August 31, the patient was seen roaming in the town hall complex.

San Manuel town mayor Kenneth Perez ordered the patient to be returned to R1MC, but it refused to take him back, the town government had no choice but to place him in the town’s isolation facility.

Dr. Roland Mejia, R1MC director, confirmed that the patient escaped. He did not elaborate.

When his pleas to be released were ignored, he threatened nurses that he would burn down the place. And he did.

He used a lit mosquito coil to burn papers on a table and went on a rampage breaking windows inside the facility.

Fortunately, firemen from the town’s Bureau of Fire Protection, led by Senior Fire Officer 4 Rogelio Quizon Jr., quickly responded and put out the fire that threatened to spread.

San Manuel, Pangasinan Mayor Kenneth Perez said the patient was transferred to the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City for treatment.

“Good thing no one was hurt during the fire,” Perez said.

He said he is saddened by reports that the patient’s children, one in Canada and another in Metro Manila, have apparently abandoned their father.

Quizon said the patient will be charged after he completes his treatment and quarantine.

 Meanwhile, Mayor Perez is set to ask the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to conduct an investigation into the circumstances that led to patient’s escape from R1MC. (Ahikam Pasion/ PhilStar Wire Service/ECV)

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