A 26-year-old undertrial prisoner, who was admitted to a government hospital in Thane after testing Covid-19 positive, escaped from the facility by removing an exhaust fan in the toilet, police said on Saturday.
The undertrial escaped from the Thane Civil Hospital during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, they said.
The man was arrested on December 8 for allegedly stealing a mobile phone. A court had sent him to judicial custody and he was lodged at Thane central jail, a police official said.
"He tested Covid-19 positive recently and was admitted to the civil hospital. He was undergoing treatment in a special ward for coronavirus patients there. As police guards have to sit outside the ward as per the protocol, the undertrial was handcuffed to the bed," he said.
Around 3 am on Friday, when the police guards went for a round, they did not find the undertrial on the bed, although the handcuffs were still attached to it. They checked the toilet and found that a stool was placed below the exhaust fan, the official said.
"It was found that the undertrial had removed the exhaust fan and escaped through hollow space. A search was carried out in the premises, but in vain," he said.
Thane Nagar police have registered a case under IPC section 224 (resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension) against him and a search was on.