A Malaysian Who Went For COVID-19 Testing Has Been Charged For Lying About Travel History

The accused was given the choice of three months' jail or community service.

Cover image via Bernama via theSundaily & Yusof Mat Isa/Malay Mail

A man working in Singapore is the first Malaysian to be charged for concealing his travel history during a COVID-19 screening

Omar Mat Khatib, who works as a postman in Singapore, pleaded guilty to violating Rule 6 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 in front of Magistrate Siti Nor Hidayah Mohd Noor yesterday, 12 April.

According to The Star, the 31-year-old committed the offence at the Pendang District Health Clinic on 26 March.

Omar Mat Khatib.

Image via Amran Hamid/New Straits Times

The accused developed a fever and flu-like symptoms following his return to Pendang, Kedah

Omar came back from Singapore on 18 March after Malaysia implemented the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO). However, he started to feel unwell, which prompted him to visit the clinic.

He was tested for COVID-19 by health officer Mohamad Syazwan Mohd Esa, but he failed to provide information on his travel history that could help prevent and control the infectious disease. 

Under the regulations, Omar could be slapped with a fine of not more than RM1,000, a maximum jail term of six months, or both if convicted.

Pendang District Health Clinic, Kedah.

Image via Kerajaan Negeri Kedah

However, when imposing the sentence, Magistrate Siti Nor offered Omar a choice of three months of imprisonment or community service

The accused, represented by Zuriyah Mohd Nordin, chose three hours of community service every day for three months, reported New Straits Times.

Omar began his sentence on Sunday. He needs to report to the Pendang Parole Department daily throughout this period.

Remember to #JustStayAtHome. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

[LIVE] Press Conference by MOH on COVID-19 | April 12, 2020

[LIVE] Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s press conference on the latest COVID-19 updates.

Posted by SAYS on Sunday, April 12, 2020

Earlier this month, a Malaysian who did not disclose his travel history to Italy with health authorities caused 37 people to be infected with COVID-19:

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