An 18-year-old vegetable vendor, who had tested positive for coronavirus on May 4 but had since been absconding, with the police on his heels, was on Saturday night traced to a friend’s house in Sector 10.
According to the FIR lodged at the Shivaji Nagar police station, the vendor’s sample was among several others taken for testing on May 1, after cases of coronavirus began emerging from the Azadpur mandi in Delhi. On May 4, he had tested positive, with officials subsequently speaking to him over the phone and alerting him to this fact.
“When a team of health workers reached his residence to pick him up and transport him to the isolation ward, his house was found locked. His phone had also been turned off,” said Inspector Ashok Kumar, Station House Officer (SHO) of the Shivaji Nagar police station.
An FIR was registered regarding the matter under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act like to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, on May 5.
On Saturday night, the vendor was finally traced to a friend’s house in Hira Nagar, where he had sought shelter as he tried to evade authorities.
“We had been questioning people about his whereabouts and also conducting a technical investigation to aid the probe. We received a tip-off on Saturday that he had escaped to a friend’s house in Sector 10. A team was immediately sent there, which found the tip to be credible,” said the SHO.
“He has been moved to an isolation ward along with his friend, and further action will be taken against him once he has recovered from the infection,” he said.
Officials from the health department, meanwhile, said they are still trying to ascertain whom the vendor came in contact with over the six days that he was missing, and trace them.
Khandsa Mandi has emerged as a hotspot of Coronavirus cases this month, after officials began testing wholesalers, retailers, and labourers operating from there in the wake of cases of Coronavirus emerging from the Azadpur Mandi in Delhi. Chief Medical Officer Dr Jaswant Singh Punia has revealed that almost 2000 people from the mandi have been screened, and over 150 samples sent for testing. The CMO said around “24 to 27” people from the mandi have tested positive so far.
The market had been closed for four days last week, with officials saying it would be sanitised during this period. It reopened on Saturday.
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