Index Patient Who Started Sivaganga Cluster Faces 5 Months' Jail And A RM12,000 Fine

He has yet to serve his jail sentence as he is currently being supervised at the hospital.

Cover image via Harian Metro & Sinar Harian

The owner of the nasi kandar restaurant linked to the Sivaganga cluster has been charged with five months in jail and a RM12,000 fine for flouting home quarantine

According to New Straits Times, Magistrate Mohd Hadi Hakimi Harun from the Jitra Magistrate's Court passed down the sentence today, 13 August.

The accused, 57-year-old Nezar Mohamed Sabur Batca, the owner of Restoran Nasi Kandar Salleh in Napoh, Kubang Pasu, plead guilty to defying Home Surveillance Order (HSO) under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

Image via Harian Metro

Classified as the index patient of the Sivagangga cluster, Nezar is a permanent resident who returned to Malaysia from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu, India, earlier in July

The Star reported that the man underwent a COVID-19 screening at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) upon arrival but initially tested negative.

He was then put under HSO but violated the rules during the quarantine period.

A following COVID-19 screening then showed positive results and Nezar was admitted to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar.

He has yet to serve his jail sentence as he is currently being supervised at the hospital.

Image via Sinar Harian

He has been charged under Section 15(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, which carries a maximum jail term of two years, or a fine, or both

According to the charge sheet, as reported by Astro Awani, the accused was found present at four premises on 14 July between 3pm and 4.40pm namely Public Bank, Agro Bank, and Bank Rakyat in Jitra, as well as Revenue Service Centre of the Inland Revenue Board in Kubang Pasu.

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The Sivaganga cluster has since spread through Kedah, Perlis, and Penang:

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