Two strangers free after escaping COVID treatment center

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Emblem of Korean National Police Agency (Yonhap)

Police are tracking two Russians who escaped from a COVID-19 treatment center in North Chungcheong Province, violating their quarantine requirement, according to the North Chungcheong Provincial Office on Friday.

Undocumented foreigners in their 30s were quarantined in separate rooms on the fourth floor of the facility in Jangan-myeon, Boeun-gun, sources said.

They snuck out of their rooms around 1 a.m. Wednesday and secretly met in a vacant room on the same floor. Using torn curtains to form a long rope, the two escaped through a window.
It was around 9 a.m. when the center’s management staff realized that the strangers had walked out of the facility as they weren’t answering any phone calls.

The two were still at large Friday morning. Local police track the Russians by monitoring footage from surveillance cameras installed near the center.

Before being admitted to the processing center on March 4 and 7, one of the illegal immigrants was recently released from prison, while the other was detained at the Cheongju Foreigners Shelter after being fined and sentenced to be expelled from Korea, according to the sources.

Under the Infectious Disease Prevention Law, those who leave designated quarantine sites without the approval of local governments can be sentenced to one year in prison or fined up to 10 million won (8 000 dollars).

By Choi Jae-hee ([email protected])

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