UPDATE: Lethem COVID-19 patient captured in Brazil


By Isanella Patoir

The Lethem COVID-19 patient, identified as Hamlet Da Silva was captured in Bonfim, Brazil a few hours after he escaped from the Lethem Regional Hospital in Region Nine.

The News Room understands Mr Da Silva has dual citizenship and lives in Bonfim; he is also from St. Ignatius in Region Nine.

The News Room understands that he entered Brazil via an illegal crossing at the border and was captured by the Police there.

Sources told the News Room that Mr Da Silva is now at a hospital in Bonfim; health officials in Lethem are in contact with his doctors there.

Mr Da Silva managed to escape from the hospital during heavy rainfall in the wee hours of Tuesday. The Ministry of Public Health confirmed that he was tested positive for the deadly disease on Monday.

“In the hours of last night it must have happened somewhere between 03:00hrs and 06:00hrs it was raining at the time; that is as much information as we can give,” Regional Health Officer, Dr Naail Uthman told the News Room.

The COVID-19 facility is located in the compound of the Lethem Hospital but according to the Regional Executive Officer, Carl Parker there is no fencing around the building so “it’s easy for somebody to slip out without being noticed so we have to put a fence there.”

There is one exit and one entrance to the facility and it remains unclear how Mr Da Silva made his escape.

The hospital held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to assess the situation and look at ways to strengthen security at the hospital.

The News Room understands that the doctors checked on Mr Da Silva about midnight and learnt he had escaped at about 06:30hrs when they went to give him his treatment.

Mr Parker is now appealing to anyone who may have come into contact with the positive patient to come forward.

Parker had told the News Room that the patient was being treated for malaria in Bonfim, Brazil and after he got worse he checked into the Lethem Hospital.

He was immediately taken into isolation after displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

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