Gulf Returnee Jumps Quarantine, Shifted to Hospital After Chase by Health Workers in Kerala

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A Gulf returnee was chased and overpowered by health officials in protective gear and police in a busy market area here on Monday after he allegedly turned violent on being questioned about loitering without wearing a mask, as a video of it went viral.

The health workers wearing the full personnel protection equipment gear tied the hands and legs of the man, allegedly drunk, using bandage cloth, put him on a stretcher and shifted him to a hospital in an ambulance.

The incident occurred at the St Peter's junction in the town this afternoon when the man, supposed to be in home quarantine, came to the market area in a two-wheeler and created a scene after being questioned by police.

Police said a case under section IPC 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease danger to life), under the Kerala Epidemic Act and the Police Act has been registered against the man who had returned from Riyadh on Saturday and advised home quarantine.

Earlier, noticing the man moving around without the mask, police on patrol duty stopped him and learnt he had returned from the Gulf on Saturday along with his wife. Since he refused to go on quarantine and was violent, health officials were immediately informed, Pathnamthitta police said.

At least four health workers wearing the PPE overpowered him after a chase as he tried to escape, running across the busy road. A video of the incident was widely shared on social media. The area where the incident took place has been disinfected, police said.

As per the COVID-19 protocol, people returning from foreign countries and found to have no symptoms during screening have to remain under home quarantine for 14 days