SAINT PETERSBURG: A court in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg on Monday ordered a woman to be forcibly returned to coronavirus quarantine in hospital after she broke out and went home.
The city's Botkin hospital filed a highly unusual request for a court order to hospitalise 33-year-old Alla Ilyina after she posted on social media about breaking out of her isolation room, complaining of inedible food and a lack of necessities such as shampoo.
The court ruled in favour of her "forced hospitalisation" which it said must be carried out immediately.
Court bailiffs escorted her to an ambulance after the hearing, local television showed.
Ilyina had visited the Chinese resort island of Hainan, returning by plane on February 1. A few days after returning she developed a slight temperature and sore throat.
Doctors diagnosed her with "acute virus illness" that they suspected could be the new coronavirus.
She was placed in 14-day quarantine on February 6 but fled a day later, according to the local health watchdog.
She posted Instagram videos giving details of her escape method and detailing complaints over bland food and lack of fresh air.
The hospital's chief doctor responded by filing legal action to return Ilyina. She has to stay in hospital until at least February 19 and must receive two negative test results before leaving.
Her lawyer Vitaly Cherkasov from rights group Agora said she would appeal against the ruling.
She told journalists that test results had taken a long time and complained she would be kept in hospital "for as long as they want".
Ilyina has already been back in Russia longer than the presumed incubation period of the virus of 14 days. Court officials did not wear face masks during the hearing, journalists reported.
On Monday the same hospital also filed legal action against another woman, 32-year-old Anna Rybakova, who fled quarantine after Ilyina.
Two others reportedly also broke out of the hospital but later returned.
Russia has reported two cases of coronavirus, both Chinese citizens who have since recovered.
On Monday, the Russian embassy in Japan said that a Russian woman has tested positive for the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the Japanese coast.
The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 1,770 on Monday.
Russia and China share a border more than 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles) long and Moscow has suspended rail links and restricted flights as well as halting visa-free entry for Chinese tour groups.