The Perak Health Department is launching an investigation into a viral photo that claims a woman breached home quarantine to dine-in at a restaurant in Ipoh
The picture shows a woman, whose face has been censored with an emoji, with a pink wristband on her right hand having a meal in Bandar Meru Raya.
According to New Straits Times, the pink wristband signifies that she is a person under surveillance (PUS) for COVID-19 and should be under strict home quarantine orders.
PUS are not allowed to remove the wristbands and are forbidden to be in public for a 14-day period.
Perak health director Datuk Dr Ding Lay Ming said checks are underway to determine if the individual has violated the Home Surveillance Order (HSO)
"The department has immediately taken action to investigate the complaint," she said in a statement on Monday, 20 July, reported The Star.
"If indeed we find that the viral message is true, then necessary legal action will be taken against the culprit."
The HSO falls under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) where, if an individual is found to have violated the ruling, they could face imprisonment not exceeding two years, or a fine, or both.
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Health Dr Jemilah Mahmood also had her say on the issue and warned that irresponsible people could lead to a second wave of COVID-19 cases in the country
Dr Jemilah took to Twitter to criticise the woman, her family, and the restaurant who did not report their customer to the health department as they are obligated to.
"It's people like her that increase our nation's risk of a second wave," she wrote.
"Shame on you and shame on your friends, family, and the cafe who allowed her in and didn't report when she's supposed to be under quarantine."
"Stricter measures needed. COVID-19 is still out there," she said.
Meanwhile, the Ipoh restaurant owner has since apologised for not being more diligent by checking her customers' wrists
After some customers recognised her shop in the picture and panicked, Nurul Chu Hada Karim took to Facebook to assure her customers that she had called the Perak Health Department to ask about the woman's COVID-19 status.
"Officers told me that she was wearing a pink wristband so she is COVID-19 negative," she wrote.
She also stood firm that her eatery was abiding with COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) and that it remains open because officers have declared that it is free of the coronavirus.
Nurul also called on her followers to help find the woman in the picture for the Ministry of Health to take action against her.