Concealing vital info can put you in jail


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 25 Mar 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Individuals who deliberately conceal important information about Covid-19 from hospital authorities, and thereby posing a risk to staff and medical facilities, can be charged under Section 22 (d) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, says Malaysian Bar president Salim Bashir.

The penalty comprises a fine, imprisonment of up to two years or both.

Similarly, an individual, who believes he has been infected with the virus but still appears in a public place, has committed an offence under Section 12 of the Act.

“We were shocked recently by the news that some people had deliberately concealed vital information from hospital authorities during medical examination.

“Important information such as history of overseas travel, especially to countries severely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as relationships or contact with a cluster of people who have tested positive for Covid-19, could save a life with prompt and appropriate treatment, ” he said.

Lawyer M.K. Thas advised hospital staff to lodge a police report if they encountered such individuals.

“Doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel on the front line have a higher risk of contracting the virus, so they should report to the police if they encounter individuals concealing important information.

“We do not wish to see a recurrence of the incident at a hospital in Kedah, ” he said, referring to a private hospital in Sungai Petani which had to be shut down for two days for disinfection after it was discovered that a patient had had close contact with a Covid-19 positive individual.

A statement issued by the hospital said that the female patient did not provide a full disclosure during medical examination and was treated in a normal ward.

It resulted in all hospital personnel who were in contact with her to be quarantined. They tested negative for Covid-19.

Thas explained that lodging a police report would deter other people from concealing vital information.

“At this time, our doctors and nurses are working so hard to treat and save Covid-19 patients, so we should stop thinking of our individual interests as our actions could endanger their lives.” he said. — Bernama

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