Covid escapee broke window to get out of hotel

The most recent escapee left the Waipuna Hotel in Mt Wellington  late last night. Photo: NZ Herald
The most recent escapee left the Waipuna Hotel in Mt Wellington late last night. Photo: NZ Herald
There is one new case of Covid-19 to report in managed isolation facilities in New Zealand today.

Today’s new case is a woman in her 20s who arrived in New Zealand on 2 July from London, via Doha and Sydney.

She had been in managed isolation at the Sudima Christchurch Airport and is now in quarantine. She had previously been identified as a close contact of another case. 

It has been 71 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.

The update comes as news of a fourth escape in a week from a managed isolation facility emerges.

A person in their 60s broke a window and escaped from an Auckland isolation hotel last night.

Air Commodore Darryn Webb, Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, said police are investigating after the person left the Waipuna Hotel in Mt Wellington  late last night.

They are now under guard at the facility

Webb said the individual tested negative for their day-3 test, after arriving in New Zealand on 4 July. They are symptom free.

The Covid-19 health risk has been assessed as very low by authorities.

The individual is now under guard in the facility.

Webb said the person broke and climbed out of a window in their room and climbed perimeter fencing to get away, and were last seen at the facility at about 11pm.

"They were picked up by police at about 12.15am and immediately returned to the facility where they were put under guard.

"The individual had allegedly knocked on three residents' doors while outside the facility. The first property did not answer. The second property called 111. At the third property the individual apparently spoke to a couple."

On Thursday, a man in his 50s fled the Distinction Hotel in the Hamilton suburb of Te Rapa to visit the liquor store about 500m away. He left the hotel after cutting through a 1.8m fence around the facility about 6.30pm, and left for about half an hour.

On Tuesday, a man in his 30s escaped managed isolation from Auckland's Stamford Plaza. He spent 20 minutes at Countdown in Victoria St where he went to buy toiletries.

The man, who is a New Zealand citizen and arrived from New Delhi on 3 July, will be summonsed to appear in court at a later date charged under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act. He will face either 6 months imprisonment or a $4000 fine.

And last Saturday, a 43-year-old woman who climbed a fence to escape from a managed isolation facility in Auckland was charged under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act. The woman arrived from Brisbane on 27 June and returned a negative Covid-19 test three days later.

Comments

What is wrong with people, they agree to isolate and then do a bunk. This is too serious a matter and 6 months prison is not a strong enough deterrent.

This is because they know they'll get a slap on the wrist and told they are naughty. We need some serious fines and jail sentences, at least 3 years in jail mandatory for any attempt at a breakout WITH an $11,000 fine should stop the problem straight away, and it's a justified punishment for the seriousness of the crime. A fine like a maximum $4,000 or a maximum of 6 months in jail really means they'll get a $500 fine and told not to do it again. This is where this government is failing majorly, the punishment has to fit the crime and this is a very serious offense.

Added to the fines and imprisonment, they should be required to pay the full costs of their quarantine, and all costs associated with their escape, such as the cost of closing and cleaning businesses and homes they enter. They should also have to pay the all of the medical costs for anyone they infect, and if someone dies as a result of their actions they should be charged with murder.
Since shooting them on the spot is not allowed.

@Simon, this isn't Nazi Germany that we're living in, right? If these people are not even allowed to go out and exercise, imagine their state of mind after a week cooped up, ostracized and treated like witches. It's no surprise that some have snapped.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter