Singapore: Man with COVID-19 who fled hospital and dormitory jailed in first such prosecution

SINGAPORE: A foreign worker who tried to leave Singapore despite being told to wait for his COVID-19 test results at a hospital later breached an order to be isolated in his dormitory.

Indian national Balachandran Parthiban, 26, was jailed for nine months on Monday (Jul 12). His case was the first prosecution involving a person with COVID-19 who breached an isolation order.

Parthiban pleaded guilty to one count each of exposing others to the risk of COVID-19 infection and of breaching his isolation order. Another two charges were considered in sentencing.

His lawyers told the court that Parthiban suffered from adjustment disorder and was experiencing “cabin fever” while being in a foreign land with no psychological support.

The court heard that Parthiban lived in Jurong Penjuru Dormitory 1. He was in Singapore on an employment pass.

On the morning of May 23 last year, Parthiban reported sick at his dormitory with a fever and sore throat. He suspected he was infected with COVID-19, as he recognised the symptoms and knew other dormitory residents who had tested positive for the coronavirus.