MOH warns those with acute respiratory symptoms to comply with MC requirements after 5 charged over Covid-19 offences

Those convicted of an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act or Stay Orders Regulations can be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for up to six months. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Health Ministry warned those with acute respiratory symptoms to comply with Covid-19 restrictions after five people were charged in court over allegedly committing coronavirus-related offences.

Of the five, two were charged in court on Monday (March 15) over allegedly visiting public areas despite being issued medical certificates (MC), thus "exposing others to the risk of Covid-19 infection".

The first, Nick Foo Suan Rong, allegedly went to Ion Orchard, Orchard Central, Bugis MRT station and Admiralty station on Sept 16 last year.

Earlier on the same day, the 20-year-old Singaporean was diagnosed with acute respiratory infection at a polyclinic and issued a three-day MC that required him to stay at home.

The next day, Foo allegedly visited the Woodlands and Somerset area.

He will be charged with one count of exposing others to the risk of infection by his conduct in a public space under the Infectious Diseases Act, and one count of leaving his place of accommodation during the duration of an MC under the Infectious Diseases (Covid-19 - Stay Orders) Regulations.

The second, Ang Siu Yen, allegedly left home last year on Oct 24 and Oct 25 to visit a supermarket in Junction 9, Bugis Junction and the Yew Tee area.

Ang's MC, which was issued on Oct 24, stated that she had acute respiratory infection symptoms and was required by law to stay at home for four days, said MOH.

The 22-year-old permanent resident will be charged with two counts of leaving her place of accommodation during the duration of an MC under the Infectious Diseases (Covid-19 - Stay Orders) Regulations.

Others who have been charged include a 57-year-old PR who visited Kampong Gelam for a 1½-hour body massage despite being told to self-isolate, said MOH.

He later tested positive for Covid-19.

On March 20 last year, Namasivayam Sundar returned to Singapore following a business trip and developed a fever the next day.

As his condition did not improve after self-medication, the PR consulted a doctor on March 24 and was referred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases where he took a Covid-19 test.

He then visited Textile Centre for the massage on the same day and tested positive for Covid-19 the next day.

On Jan 29, Sundar was charged with one count of exposing others to the risk of infection by his conduct in a public space under the Infectious Diseases Act.

His case was scheduled for further mention last Friday, said MOH.

Another individual charged allegedly worked as a private-hire car driver despite being issued three MCs.

Bawani Murugaiah allegedly ferried passengers in her vehicle on six days between July and August last year despite being diagnosed with upper respiratory tract infection.

The 37-year-old Singaporean was charged with five counts of exposing others to the risk of infection by her conduct in a public space under the Infectious Diseases Act and one count of leaving her place of accommodation during the duration of an MC under the Infectious Diseases (Covid-19 - Stay Orders) Regulations.

Her case was scheduled for further mention in court on March 22, said MOH.

The remaining individual, Abdul Rashid Sugianto, purportedly left his home last year between June 3 and June 5 to visit Geylang and Tampines West Community Centre.

The 30-year-old Singaporean had previously been issued a five-day MC on June 2 and June 3 for symptoms of acute respiratory infection.

On Jan 6, Rashid was charged in court with three counts of exposing others to the risk of infection by his conduct in a public space under the Infectious Diseases Act.

His case was scheduled for a pre-trial conference in court last Thursday, MOH added.

Those convicted of an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act or Stay Orders Regulations can be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for up to six months.

"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," MOH added.

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