Nagpur, March 14 (IANS) Panic gripped Nagpur as four suspected coronavirus patients ran away from a private hospital late on Friday night, officials said here on Saturday.
Following a manhunt, three were located and brought back to the Mayo Hospital where they were under observation since the past few days.
Search is underway for the one still missing. Worried district and health officials informed the media as 19 patients have tested positive in the state so far.
Of the absconders, one has tested negative, while the reports of the remaining three are awaited.
The official said that despite attempts by the medicos and para-medical staffers, the four left the hospital last evening.
The issue reverberated in the Maharashtra Assembly with several members demanding stringent action the hospital authorities for not safeguarding their patients in the midst of a global pandemic.
The development came hours after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered a partial lock-down for public places, shutdown of schools in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad and other precautionary measures in Mumbai, Nagpur, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Nagpur.
The Chief Minister also appealed to all companies to allow employees to awork from home' and curtailed the legislature's budget session by nearly a week to end later in the day.