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COVID-19: Patient Zero of Sivagangga cluster jailed 5 months and fined RM12,000

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has revealed that the person responsible for the Sivagangga COVID-19 cluster in Kedah has been sentenced to five months’ jail and fined RM12,000. The accused is a permanent resident who returned from India last month and has failed to adhere to mandatory home quarantine rules.

According to the Senior Minister, the government view the violation seriously as there’s a growing concern of new clusters emerging as the government eased restrictions during the Recovery Movement Control Order. He said that the individual was supposed to be under home quarantine but instead had went out to open his restaurant.

As a result, several villages in Kedah and Perlis were placed under lock down because of this individual’s failure to comply with regulation and SOP. As of yesterday, there are a total of 45 positive cases from the Sivagangga cluster.

Berita Harian reported that he was found guilty for four charges. The first two were for failure to comply with surveillance rules for going to Bank Rakyat and Agro Bank in Jitra on 14th July 2020. The other two charges are for going to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) centre and Public Bank in Jitra on the same day.

The individual was charged under Section 15(1) of Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988. He was fined RM3,000 and a prison sentence of 5 months for each offence with the prison sentence to run concurrently.

As reported earlier, patient zero had initially tested negative for COVID-19 at KLIA when he returned from India on 13th July. However, he was later tested positive on 28th July on the next test. On the same day, a total of 28 close contacts were screened and five people who are staying in the same household were tested positive.

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Alexander Wong