COVID-19: Security officer jailed 6 weeks for breaching SHN to go to work

Quresh Singh Sandhu, 27, pleaded guilty to one charge under the Infectious Diseases Act. (Photo: Getty)
Quresh Singh Sandhu, 27, pleaded guilty to one charge under the Infectious Diseases Act. (Photo: Getty)

SINGAPORE — A 27-year-old man returning to Singapore from Batam signed on a slip to acknowledge receipt of a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) before immediately proceeding to his workplace, a court heard.

And for five days, Quresh Singh Sandhu stayed at his company’s lodging in Dunlop Street, sharing a room with three other co-workers instead of remaining in his own home, where he was supposed to serve out his SHN.

At the State Courts on Wednesday (27 May), Singh was jailed for six weeks after he pleaded guilty to one charge of contravening the Infectious Diseases Act – by exposing others to the risk of infection to COVID-19 via his presence in various public places.

Took MRT train to work

Singh, a Singaporean, worked as a security officer for a vendor employed by Marina Bay Sands (MBS). On 17 March, he returned to Singapore from Batam via HarbourFront Ferry Terminal at about 3pm. An immigration officer issued him with a SHN from 17 to 31 March.

From 11.59pm on 16 March, all travellers entering Singapore having visited Asean countries, Japan, Switzerland or the United Kingdom within the last 14 days were issued a 14-day SHN, requiring them to remain in their place of residence at all times within the 14-day period.

However, after acknowledging receipt of the SHN and clearing immigration, Singh took a train from HarbourFront MRT Station to Little India MRT Station, and then to Bayfront MRT Station. He then reported for his 8pm shift at MBS and ended work at 8am the next day.

After his shift ended, Singh took a train from Bayfront MRT Station to Rochor MRT Station, and then went to his company’s lodging at Snooze Inn at 28 Dunlop Street. He shared a room there with three other co-workers and did not tell them about his SHN.

Supervisor told culprit to go home

From 18 to 21 March, Singh repeated his commute to and from his workplace for his 8pm to 8am shifts. He would take the train at about 7pm from Rochor MRT Station to Bayfront MRT Station. And he would take the train at about 8am from Bayfront MRT Station to Rochor MRT Station.

At about 7am on 21 March, Singh’s supervisor found out about his SHN and told him to go home immediately.

The culprit was on the way home to his registered address when his father contacted him to tell him that immigration officers had conducted a spot check. Singh reached home at about 9.45am.

In asking for a deterrent sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh said, “Firm action needs to be taken against offenders who carelessly expose others to the risk of infection, when they have been assessed to be public health risks.”

For his offence, Singh could have been fined a maximum of $10,000 and/or jailed for up to six months.

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