Hong Kong police have arrested an elderly man who escaped from compulsory quarantine in a Tsim Sha Tsui hotel.
The 75-year-old man was detained in Central on Monday evening after spending about a day on the run, according to a police source.
He had landed in Hong Kong recently from Italy and checked into the Ramada Hong Kong Grand, a designated quarantine hotel on Austin Avenue.
The hotel notified the Department of Health on Saturday that the man had stepped out of his room and lingered in the corridor without permission, contravening the compulsory quarantine order.
He was asked by hotel staff to return to his room.
Under an established mechanism, the Centre for Health Protection reported the case to the compliance team of the designated quarantine hotel scheme, a department spokesman said.
At about 1pm the next day, when a vehicle from the Auxiliary Medical Service was sent to pick up the man to take him to a quarantine centre, he was found to be missing.
Surveillance footage showed he left the hotel at about 11am and walked to Nathan Road along Hillwood Road. The department alerted police and a search was launched.
"The authorities expressed deep concern and attached great importance to the incident. The government strongly appeals to the people under quarantine to follow the quarantine requirement strictly to protect the health of themselves and others," a spokesman added.
Escaping from quarantine without permission is a criminal offence and offenders are subject to a maximum fine of HK$25,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction.
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