A Chinese citizen infected with coronavirus has been accused by the Singaporean authorities of providing false information about his whereabouts in the city-state and could face up to six months in prison.
Singapore has received international praise for its sophisticated approach to fighting the virus. This included the use of police officers and security cameras to track down suspect carriers. The wealthy island nation, an important regional financial center and transportation hub, has confirmed 91 cases so far.
The health ministry said on Wednesday that it had charged a 38-year-old man from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus first appeared at the end of last year, and his wife, who lives in Singapore, for allegedly wrongdoing by the authorities I have provided information about their contact movements tracing.
The husband was confirmed to be infected with the virus in late January, and has since recovered while his wife was quarantined due to her close contact with him.
The health ministry said "detailed investigations" had identified their true movements and were charged with "the potentially serious impact of the wrong information … and the risk they could pose to public health."
Charges under the Infectious Diseases Act are rare, and this is the first case during the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore. First offenders under the law can be fined up to S $ 10,000 ($ 7,147), or detained for six months or both.
Singapore also said on Wednesday that a 45-year-old man had lost his residence status after violating the order to stay at home for 14 days when he returned from China. The city-state – known for its strict laws – has also canceled work ID cards and restricted employers' right to hire foreigners for violations of other virus prevention measures.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)