A Russian woman concocted an elaborate plan to escape coronavirus quarantine. Now she's being sued for threatening the health of others

pcachero@businessinsider.com (Paulina Cachero)

China Daily/Reuters

  • Alla Ilyina, a 32-year-old Russian woman, concocted an elaborate plan to escape coronavirus quarantine at the Botkin Hospital for Infection Diseases in St. Petersburg, including short-circuiting a lock, the Moscow Times reported. 

  • The chief sanitary doctor of St. Petersburg has filed a lawsuit against Ilyina, claiming she had committed an administrative offense for threatening the health of herself and others.

  • Ilyina is now barricading herself in her flat and refusing to open the door for police, who are trying to get a court order to forcibly take her back to the hospital. 

  • Russia has confirmed two cases of coronavirus in the country. Both of the infected are Chinese citizens. 

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A medical worker is seen at the intensive care unit of Jinyintan hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Alla Ilyina, 32, was quarantined at the Botkin Hospital for Infection Diseases in St. Petersburg after going for a check-up on her sore throat after returning a Chinese seaside resort on January 31, CNN reported.

But despite testing negative for the coronavirus three times, doctors insisted she had to stay.

So she concocted an elaborate plan to escape.

"I drew up a map before and made a detailed plan. When evening came and the medical staff had let their guard down, I short-circuited the magnetic lock in my containment room and opened the door," Ilyina, who had previously studied physics, told Moscow Times.

Ilyina claimed she was put in solitary confinement for two days when she decided to take matters into her own hands. 

"Our Constitution guarantees freedom. I didn't understand why I had to stay in a hospital cage," she said.

Medical worker carries protective suits at Jinyintan hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak


Since fleeing on Thursday, the chief sanitary doctor of St. Petersburg has filed a lawsuit against Ilyina, Russian state media reported. He claimed she committed an administrative offense by breaking quarantine regulations and threatening the health of others by exposing others to the COVID-19 virus.

However, Ilyina's lawyer, Vitaly Cherkasov, told CNN that she was well within her right to return home having completed her 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Cherkasov emphasized that his client had taken multiple tests for coronavirus that came out negative, adding that health officials did not isolate her from neighbors or relatives after returning from China's Heinan Island. 

"If she poses any danger for the people, as the chief sanitary physician states, no measures confirming there is a danger are being undertaken," Cherkasov told CNN. 

Ilyina is now barricading herself in her flat and refusing to open the door for police, who are seeking a court order to forcefully bring her back to the hospital until February 19, BBC News reported. However, Ilyina isn't the only Russian citizen who has made a great escape from quarantine.

Medical staff members preparing equipment to meet passengers of a military plane, which evacuated citizens of Russia and ex-Soviet countries from China's Wuhan province, the epicenter of an outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, are seen through a bus window at the Roshchino International Airport outside Tyumen, Russia February 5, 2020.

Yuri Shestak/Vsluh.ru/Handout via REUTERS

Two others have fled coronavirus quarantines, including a mother and her son who jumped out of a window.

Guzel Neder, 34, was also quarantined after returning from vacation at the Hainan Island. She told the Moscow Times she escaped to avoid infection in the hospital ward. 

"The conditions there were awful. Doctors were very unprofessional and not wearing any protective gear," Neder told the Moscow Times.

Both she and her son tested negative for the virus three days after they fled the hospital. 

According to RBC, 20,000 people in Russia are under the supervision of doctors for suspected COVID-19 virus infection in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus in the country. So far, Russia has confirmed two cases of coronavirus in the country, both of whom were Chinese citizens. They have since recovered. 

The coronavirus has taken the lives of more than 1,380 and infected more than 64,000, with most of the cases in mainland China. 

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