An investigation has been launched after a female inmate in Wuhan who is suffering from the coronavirus was released from prison when her sentence ended and allowed to travel to the capital Beijing.
Local media report Huang Dengying, 61, was released on 17th February and from Wuhan Women’s Prison, in the Chinese province of Hubei where the coronavirus originated.
Local media report she was suffering from a fever and sore throat on her release from the prison, which has seen 279 confirmed cases in the facility.
Reports state her family drove from Beijing to Wuhan to pick her up and a relative claims they were not told she had a fever.
They then returned to Beijing on 22nd February and reported the journey to the authorities who placed them in quarantine.
The former inmate, who reportedly worked as an official in Xuanen county and was handed a 10-year sentence in 2013 for taking bribes but granted early release, was confirmed to be suffering from coronavirus, now officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, on Monday 24th February.
Her unnamed relative said the prison officials had been insistent they took the former prisoner away and “covered up what was actually happening in the prison”.
The relative added that the family only found out about the COVID-19 outbreak in the prison from a radio report on their way home.
Hubei’s provincial government has launched an investigation into the incident, while a group of officials from China’s central government ministries, which includes members of the police, have been sent to Hubei to launch their own investigation.
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