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Man admits leaving home to meet girlfriend while on medical leave for sore throat and stuffy nose

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SINGAPORE: Despite receiving a medical certificate and told to stay home until his COVID-19 swab tested negative, a 20-year-old man left his residence to meet with his girlfriend and get her things back so she can stay with him.

Foo Suan Rong pleaded guilty Monday (April 5) to a charge of leaving his home when he was supposed to stay at home on sick leave. A second charge of exposing others to the risk of COVID-19 infection will be considered in sentencing.

The court heard that Foo went to Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic at around 3:30 p.m. on September 16 last year to seek medical treatment for a sore throat and stuffy nose he suffered during. three days.

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A doctor examined him and diagnosed him with an acute respiratory infection and issued him a medical certificate. The certificate stated that Foo was unfit for work for three days from September 16-18 last year.

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The doctor explained the legal requirement that Foo must stay home until his COVID-19 swab tested negative or until the MC period was over.

He also gave Foo a copy of the Department of Health notice for patients receiving MCs for acute respiratory symptoms.

Foo went for a COVID-19 swab test the same day the doctor told him he had to do it and returned home.

However, the next morning, Foo left his home and went to Choa Chu Kang MRT station where he took a train to Admiralty MRT station and met his girlfriend, Cherry Wong Kam Chi, 20. .

Together they took a train to Somerset, where Ms Wong went to a gymnasium. Foo waited for her before leaving together at 4:30 p.m. for dinner in the area.

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They walked around Orchard and Somerset before catching a train back to Admiralty MRT station at around 10:25 pm.

They went to Ms. Wong’s home where she picked up some things to spend the night with Foo, and took another train back to Choa Chu Kang MRT station at around 11:40 pm.

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They arrived at Foo’s home just after midnight on September 18, 2020. Foo had received a text on his phone at around 11:25 p.m. on September 17, 2020, informing him that he had tested negative for COVID-19.

However, he admitted he didn’t see the message until the next day.

On October 13, 2020, the Department of Health was informed that Foo had left home during the period of his CD and before he was informed of his negative COVID-19 swab test result.

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Deputy District Attorney Jasmin Kaur called for at least a week in jail, saying Foo left home the day after an MC was issued “for no good reason and just to hang out with his girlfriend”.

“In so doing, the accused has shown a gratuitous disregard for the safety and well-being of the general public,” she said.

He was exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 and had left his home for about 13 hours, traveling to several places, including Orchard Road, where human trafficking is high, she added.

The judge requested reports to assess Foo’s suitability for community service orders and a day report order and adjourned the case to May.

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