5 charged for COVID-19 offences: MOH

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4-min read
One of the accused allegedly failed to self-isolate while waiting for his COVID-19 test result and was later found to be infected, said MOH. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
One of the accused allegedly failed to self-isolate while waiting for his COVID-19 test result and was later found to be infected, said MOH. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Five people have been charged for allegedly committing COVID-19 related offences, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (15 March).

One is accused of failing to self-isolate while waiting for his COVID-19 test result and was later found to be infected, said the ministry in a news release. Meanwhile, the other four purportedly visited public places despite being issued with medical certificates (MCs) for acute respiratory symptoms.

Three of the accused were charged between 28 December and 6 February, while the remaining two were scheduled to be charged on Monday.

Here are the case details:

Namasivayam Sundar

The 57-year-old male permanent resident returned to Singapore on 20 March last year following a business trip to India, Paris and Dubai. He developed a fever the next day and self-medicated.

As his condition did not improve, Sundar saw a doctor on 24 March and was referred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, where he underwent a COVID-19 test. Instead of returning home afterwards to await the result, Sundar visited the Textile Centre along Jalan Sultan for a 90-minute body massage.

He was found to be positive for COVID-19 the following day. Sundar was charged in court on 29 January this year on one count under the Infectious Diseases Act. His case was scheduled for further mention on 12 March.

Bawani Murugaiah

The 37-year-old Singaporean woman was issued with five-day MCs on three occasions by various general practitioners between 22 July and 29 August last year.

During her clinic visits, she was diagnosed with upper respiratory tract infection, borderline high blood pressure and a swollen lymph node in her neck.

While she was required by law to stay home for the entire duration of her respective MCs, Bawani allegedly left home on six days to work as a private hire car driver and ferried passengers in her vehicle.

She was charged with five counts under the Infectious Diseases Act and one count under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19-Stay Orders) Regulations 2020. Her case will next be heard on 22 March.

Abdul Rashid Sugianto

The 30-year-old Singaporean man visited a clinic on 2 June last year and was given a five-day MC for displaying symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infection. The next day, Rashid visited another clinic where he was again issued a five-day MC for the same condition.

During the period of his two MCs, he left home three times to visit Tampines West Community Centre and Geylang.

Rashid was charged on 6 January with three counts under the Infectious Diseases Act. His case was set for a pre-trial conference on 11 March.

Ang Siu Yen

The 22-year-old Singapore permanent resident visited a clinic on 24 October last year and was diagnosed with upper respiratory tract infection. She was given a four-day MC that required her to stay home for the entirety of that period.

However, Ang left home twice during the MC period to visit a supermarket at Junction Nine Shopping Mall, Bugis Junction and the Yew Tee area. She was scheduled to be charged on Monday for two counts under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19-Stay Orders) Regulations 2020.

Foo Suan Rong, Nick

The 20-year-old Singaporean man visited a polyclinic on 16 September last year and was given a three-day MC after being diagnosed with acute respiratory infection. This required him to stay home for the duration of the MC.

Instead of going home, Foo visited the ION Orchard and Orchard Central malls; as well as the Bugis and Admiralty MRT stations. The next day, he also left home and visited the Woodlands and Somerset areas.

Foo was set to be charged on Monday for one count under the Infectious Diseases Act and one count under Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 Stay Orders) Regulations 2020.

Possible jail terms, fines

Those convicted of offences under the Infectious Diseases Act or Stay Orders Regulations face fines of up to $10,000, jail terms of up to six months, or both, on each charge.

"We urge individuals to adhere to the prevailing measures, and to stay at home for the duration of MC issued for the episode of illness, to prevent putting our loved ones and others in the community at risk of infection," said the MOH in the release.

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