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A 69-year-old man was sentenced to immediate imprisonment for 14 days by the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts today (March 8) for violating the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap. 599A) (the Regulation).

     The man was classified as a close contact of a COVID-19 confirmed case on July 30, 2020. However, he ignored the instructions given by the Department of Health (DH) to be isolated at quarantine centre and became out of reach. He was subsequently intercepted by the police on August 11, 2020. He was charged with contravening sections 32(1) and 32(3) of the Regulation and was sentenced by the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts today to immediate imprisonment for 14 days. 
 
      Pursuant to section 32 of the Regulation, a person shall not, knowing that he is a contact or is infected with a specified infectious disease, expose other persons to the risk of infection by the person’s presence or conduct in any public conveyance or any street, public place, place of entertainment or assembly, club or hotel or by carrying on any trade, business or occupation. Offenders face a maximum fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for six months.
 
     A spokesman for the DH said that co-operation by the public is the key to stop the spread of the disease in the community. Such irresponsible act increases the risk of exposing other persons to infection. The government severely condemns such acts and appeals to the public to adhere to the relevant regulations. As of today, a total of three persons have been convicted by the courts for breaching relevant regulations and have received sentences including immediate imprisonment for up to four months. The spokesman reiterated that resolute actions will be taken against anyone who breaches the regulation.