A COVID-19 patient who escaped from a hospital in December has been sentenced to six months in jail.
Appearing in court Friday, Li Wan-keung, said he fled the hospital because he was “afraid of injections,” Ming Pao reported .
“I wasn’t going to flee, but suddenly I was told that I still have four more injections to take… you know how painful it is to take an injection on the stomach,” he said, admitting that his decision to escape was “reckless.”
The 63-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of exposing others to infection. Deputy Magistrate Tobias Cheng called his behavior “very selfish” and said that a heavier punishment was needed to send a clear message to the public.
Li, who is unemployed and lives on a HK$5,000 (US$645) government subsidy, escaped from his ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei on Dec. 18. That evening, a hospital worker spotted him running and chased him down a staircase out the building, according to local reports.
He was found in Mong Kok two days later . When the magistrate asked where he went, he said he was “sleeping on the streets” because “there were still germs in his home.”
Li was discharged from the hospital on Dec. 23 after testing negative for COVID-19.
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