Court, Crime, Covıd-19, Coronavirus

Court, Crime

COVID-19: Man left home to buy food when ordered to stay home on MC, fined S$5,000

COVID-19: Man left home to buy food when ordered to stay home on MC, fined S$5,000

5/8/2020 10:53:00 AM

COVID-19 : Man left home to buy food when ordered to stay home on MC, fined S$5,000

SINGAPORE: Even though he was given a medical certificate and issued with an advisory to stay at home for his respiratory infection during the ...

BookmarkSINGAPORE: Even though he was given a medical certificate and issued with an advisory to stay at home for his respiratory infection during the COVID-19 pandemic, a man left his home daily to buy food.For one charge of exposing others to the risk of infection to COVID-19, Dharamnath Singh was fined S$5,000 by a court on Wednesday (Aug 5).

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AdvertisementAdvertisementAnother four similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.The court heard that Singh, a 63-year-old retired technician, had gone to Toa Payoh Polyclinic complaining of a runny nose and cough on Apr 6.He was examined and diagnosed as suffering from an"acute upper respiratory infection". The doctor issued him a medical certificate (MC) for five days from Apr 6 to Apr 10.

The MC included the remarks:"Stay Home Notice - advised to stay at home during the period of the MC".AdvertisementAdvertisementThe doctor had told Singh that he was required by law to stay at his home during the period of the MC and was not allowed to leave for any purpose other than to seek medical attention.

He was also told to opt for home delivery services or get others to help him with his daily necessities, and given a number for assistance from the People's Association if required.When told that he had to stay at home during his MC period, Singh tried to cancel the consultation, accepting the MC reluctantly only after the doctor said he would have to call the police if Singh did not comply.

Although he had reason to suspect that he had been in contact with the coronavirus, Singh left his home that very night to buy dinner from a coffee shop nearby.His son, who stayed with him, told the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority on Apr 10 that Singh had left their home even though he had been ordered to stay in.

Singh claimed that his son did not offer to buy food for him despite knowing he was ill.Referring to the four charges taken into consideration, the prosecutor said Singh had left his home twice every day for the four remaining days of his MC, to buy lunch and dinner.

The prosecutor had asked for a fine of between S$5,000 and S$6,000, noting that Singh had wore a mask when leaving the house on only five of these occasions, omitting the face covering on three occasions.However, the prosecutor acknowledged that Singh had"proceeded with the task with haste" and was in public for"extremely short durations".

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