Coronavirus: Singaporean to plead guilty to leaving home about 30 minutes before period of isolation ended

Tay Chun Hsien was ordered to be isolated in his Choa Chu Kang flat from March 19 until noon on March 22. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - A man appeared in a district court on Friday (April 24) after he allegedly left home about 30 minutes before his period of isolation ended during the coronavirus outbreak.

Singaporean Tay Chun Hsien, 22, was charged with an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Court documents showed he was ordered by the Director of Medical Services to be isolated in his Choa Chu Kang flat from March 19 until noon on March 22.

Tay is accused of not being home from around 11.30am until noon that day.

Court documents did not state why he had to be quarantined.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Friday that Tay had acknowledged the contents of his quarantine order when he received it.

He had also noted that he was not supposed to leave his home for the entire duration of the quarantine period.

The ministry said Tay left his home on March 22 morning to go to a neighbourhood shopping mall for breakfast without the permission of Director of Medical Services. As a result, he breached his quarantine order, it added.

"MOH will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those who fail to comply with the quarantine order requirements," the ministry said.

Tay, who was unrepresented, said that he intends to plead guilty to his charge and will be back in court on April 29.

If convicted, he faces up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

On Thursday, 34-year-old Alan Tham Xiang Sheng, became the first person to be dealt with in court for exposing others to the risk of infection by breaching a stay-home notice (SHN).

Describing Tham's conduct as "socially reprehensible", Senior District Judge Ong Hian Sun sentenced him to six weeks' jail.

Tham, who runs an online sales business, arrived in Singapore from Myanmar on March 23 and was served with an SHN.

As part of his notice, the Singaporean was supposed to stay home at all times until April 6.

But, on the day of his arrival, he went to several places islandwide including Peninsula Plaza in North Bridge Road and Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre in Woodlands Drive 71, where he had bak kut teh.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.