Singapore—A man insisted on making deliveries to 39 clients in April last year, despite having been given a medical certificate for five days’ leave after seeing a doctor.
Shin Min Daily News reported on Tuesday (June 9) that the man had been sentenced to four months’ jail for violations of the Infectious Diseases Act.
Forty-year-old Chen Minghua, according to the Chinese daily, told the doctor that because he was working in the wholesale business, he could not stay home on a five-day sick leave.
Mr Chen had gone to a clinic in Lane 1 Toa Payoh on April 17 last year, as he had been bothered by cough, an itchy throat, and other symptoms of respiratory illness.
The doctor confirmed that his respiratory tract was indeed inflamed and Chen received a medical certificate (MC) for five days’ rest. Whether or not the deliveryman tested positive for Covid is unknown.
Under the Infectious Diseases Act, a person who has been given an MC is required to stay home for the duration specified in the certificate. This requirement is especially important to follow during the pandemic in order to reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19.
In March last year, the Ministry of Health said that patients who had been given a five-day sick leave because of acute respiratory symptoms were required to stay home.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) now forbids patients who are issued a five-day sick leave for acute respiratory symptoms from leaving home.
Violating this rule could result in a six-month jail sentence and a fine of as much as S$10,000.
Since Chen argued that he could not stop working for five days, he did not pay for his doctor’s visit, nor did he claim the MC.
He left the clinic of his own accord and the next day, drove his truck to work.
From 6 o’clock in the morning until one o’clock that afternoon he made fruits and vegetable deliveries to 39 clients across Singapore, including Punggol, Changi, Hougang, Woodlands, Choa Chu Kang, Bishan, and East Coast Road.
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