Five people charged in Singapore for COVID-related offences

Representational photo courtesy: Daniel Bone on Pixabay
Representational photo courtesy: Daniel Bone on Pixabay

Singapore has charged five people in court for allegedly committing COVID-19 related offences. One person had allegedly failed to self-isolate while awaiting the result of his COVID-19 test while the remaining four had allegedly gone to public places despite being issued with medical certificates (MC) for acute respiratory symptoms.

57-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident Namasivayam Sundar, who returned from a business trip to India, Paris and Dubai, developed a fever on March 21, 2020. After self-medication, he consulted a doctor on March 24 and was referred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, where he underwent a COVID-19 test. 

The case against him alleges that instead of returning home to self-isolate while waiting for his test result, he travelled to the Textile Centre located at 200 Jalan Sultan for a one-and-a-half-hour body massage. He was subsequently found to be COVID-potivie on March 25, 2020. 

Between July 22 and August 29, 2020, Bawani D/O Murugaiah, a 37-year-old Singaporean, was issued with five-day MCs on three occasions by different general practitioner clinics, all of which stated that she was required by law to stay at home throughout the duration of her MC. 

While she was on MC, Bawani allegedly left her home on six days to work as a private hire car driver when she ferried passengers in her vehicle.

On June 2, 2020, Abdul Rashid Bin Sugianto, a 30-year-old Singaporean, visited a clinic and was given a five-day MC from June 2-6 for displaying symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infection. The following day, Rashid visited another clinic where he was again diagnosed with acute respiratory infection and was issued with another five-day MC from June 3-7.

Rashid allegedly left his home on three separate occasions during his MC period to visit Tampines West Community Centre and Geylang.

On October 24, 2020, Ang Siu Yen, a 22-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident, visited a clinic and was diagnosed with upper respiratory tract infection. She was given a four-day MC from October 24-27. 

While she was on MC, Ang had allegedly left home on two occasions to go to a supermarket in Junction Nine Shopping Mall; Bugis Junction and the Yew Tee area.

On September 16, 2020, Foo Suan Rong, Nick, a 20-year-old Singaporean, visited a polyclinic and was diagnosed with acute respiratory infection. He was given a three-day MC from September 16-18. 

After his visit to the polyclinic, Foo allegedly went to ION Orchard, Orchard Central, Bugis MRT station and Admiralty MRT station instead of returning home. Further, on September 17, he allegedly left home to go to Woodlands and Somerset area.

MOH put out a warning urging 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”. 

“The Ministry of Health will not hesitate to take strict enforcement action against those who place the public at risk of COVID-19 infection by failing to comply with the Infectious Diseases Act,  or the Stay Orders Regulations,” the ministry added.