COVID patient who escaped from quarantine facility in Davao found

Computer-generated cartographic sketch of Arani Hajiba, the COVID-19 patient who escaped from a quarantine facility. Image courtesy of the Davao City Police Office

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 May) – The female patient who went missing for six days after escaping from a quarantine facility where she was being treated for coronavirus disease was found around 6 a.m. on Friday in Barangay Matina Crossing, Davao City.

In a live interview over 91.5 Brigada News FM Metro Davao, Davao City Police Office spokesperson Captain Rose Aguilar said the Talomo Police Station immediately dispatched its personnel after receiving a report that Arani Hajiba was spotted sitting by the roadside in Barangay Matina Crossing.

She said the authorities did not let Hajiba go even as they were still verifying her identity with the personnel assigned to Queensland Motel Davao, a COVID-19 facility for patients with “mild” symptoms.

She said the police personnel who handled her donned personal protective equipment to get close to Hajiba and fed her.

The patient was immediately brought back to the quarantine facility after authorities confirmed her identity, according to Aguilar.

“Our police personnel wore PPEs just to get protected from the infection whether she was the missing patient or not. They were just being cautious so they will not get infected,” she added.

She said the police could now heave a sigh of relief after putting the escapee back in the facility but added their attention is now focused on tracing the individuals who might have come in close contact with her.

Police authorities released the computer-generated cartographic sketch last Tuesday to locate Hajiba, a resident of Purok 4, Isla Verde, Barangay 23-C here.

Mayor Sara Duterte said over 87.5 Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR)  last Monday that security in quarantine facilities has been beefed up because other patients had also previously attempted to escape as they “do not want to be admitted.”

“The security has been in place. We just added more in our facilities because in that area she was not the only one, there were other patients who attempted before,” she said at that time. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)