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Police seek Russian couple after wife tests positive for Covid-19

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A Russian couple is being sought by the Patong Police after the wife tested positive for Covid-19. (via Patong Police)

After mild punishment for the first widely reported case of someone leaving their approved hotel before their quarantine period was over, it seems the floodgates are open. In Koh Chang, 6 people who tested positive for Covid-19 left their hotel and had to be tracked down. A few days ago a Russian man with Covid-19 who was supposed to be quarantined in Patong disappeared for a day but came back to his room. And yesterday a bulletin was put out for another Covid-19 infected Russian man who left his Phuket room in Kamala and had not yet been located.

Now 2 more Russian guests have disappeared from yet another Phuket hotel after testing positive for Covid-19. A husband and wife left the Holiday Inn Express on Haad Patang Road yesterday morning after the wife tested positive for Covid-19 and was to enter 10-day hotel isolation.

Olga Tribshtok, the 35 year old Russian woman and her husband, Sergei Iaroshenko, also 35, went to Bangkok Hospital Siriroj on Thursday to be tested for Covid-19. On Friday morning, before receiving test results, the couple checked out sometime before noon. The hospital contacted their hotel at 1:38 pm when test results came back and Olga tested positive.

The hotel contacted Patong Police to report that the couple left and now the wife had been confirmed positive for Covid-19, but their whereabouts are unknown. The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office has joined the police in the hunt for the Russian couple.

Unlike previous Covid-19 fugitives, this couple had already completed their Sandbox programme, having arrived at the hotel on January 5 and stayed 10 days already, checking out on the morning of the 15th. But they had a pending Covid-19 test and left without receiving results that came back positive, making it urgent for police to track them down.

Many are questioning now if the hotels that let guests that are supposed to be in quarantine come and go as they please. On one hand, they are responsible for the guests staying in Sandbox programmes. But on the other hand, hotels are not provided with, or trained in, security and containment like a prison. In this instance, their booked stay was over and they checked out before the hotel was made aware of their test results.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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    Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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