Sivagangga super spreader gets five months’ jail, fined RM12k

ALOR SETAR: The owner of the nasi kandar restaurant linked to the Sivagangga cluster has been jailed five months and fined RM12,000 after he pleaded guilty for defying a quarantine order under the recovery movement control order (MCO).

The sentence was passed down by Magistrate Mohd Hadi Hakimi Harun from the Jitra Magistrate's Court with proceedings held at the isolation ward in Block I of the old Alor Setar Hospital here Thursday (Aug 13).

Magistrate Hadi also ordered the accused, Nezar Mohamed Sabur Batca, the owner of Restoran Nasi Kandar Salleh in Napoh, Kubang Pasu, to be jailed for three months for each of the four charges if he failed to pay the fine.

The judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Zabidah Ahmad prosecuted and arrived at the hospital at about 9.25am.

According to the charge sheet, between 3pm and 4.40pm on July 14, the accused was found present at four premises - the Public Bank Jitra Branch, Revenue Service Centre of the Inland Revenue Board Kubang Pasu branch, Agro Bank Jitra Branch and Bank Rakyat Jitra branch.

By doing so, he had defied the Home Surveillance Order issued to him under Section 15(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, an offence under Section 22(b) which carries a punishment under Section 24(a) of the same act, which prescribes a jail term of not more than two years or a fine or both upon conviction.

Nezar, identified as an index patient of the Sivagangga cluster, is a permanent resident who returned to Malaysia from Sivagangga, Tamil Nadu, India on July 13.

Upon arrival, he underwent a Covid-19 screening at the KL International Airport (KLIA) but was initially tested negative.

He was put under a Home Surveillance Order but did not follow the rules within the quarantine period.

Repeated Covid-19 screenings on him later showed positive results and he was admitted to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital here.

Active case detection and screening of close contacts have been conducted.

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