Indian-origin Singaporean jailed for coughing at colleagues while he was Covid+
Indian-origin Singaporean jailed for coughing at colleagues while he was Covid+: After entering a guilty plea to one count of violating a COVID-19 rule by neglecting to wear a mask that covered his mouth and nose when leaving his residence in 2021, the 64-year-old Singaporean of Indian descent was sentenced to two weeks in prison on Monday.
On one occasion, Tamilselvam Ramaiya purposefully coughed at his coworkers, dropping his mask to do so, even though he was aware that he had just tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a report from Channel News Asia, two further counts were taken into account while determining the sentence.
Tamilselvam was employed by Leong Hup Singapore as a cleaner at the time, the court was informed.
On the morning of October 18, 2021, he reported for work at 6 Senoko Way and informed the assistant logistics manager that he was feeling under the weather. To do an antigen rapid test (ART), he was instructed.
Tamilselvam was tested by a coworker, and the results showed that he had COVID-19.
He was told to go home and inform the assistant logistics manager of the outcome after receiving the results.
After hearing about the positive test result from a different source, the assistant logistics manager informed his other staff members.
But Tamilselvam did not return home right away. Rather, he proceeded to the logistics office of the corporation to notify the assistant logistics manager of the outcome of his COVID-19 exam.
Without being informed of the positive test result, Tamilselvam arrived at the workplace accompanied by a corporate driver.
The first victim, a logistics supervisor in his 40s, instructed the driver to stay away from Tamilselvam. Additionally, Tamilselvam was requested to leave the office by the supervisor, who also made a motion like a kicking out.
After walking to the door, Tamilselvam turned around and used his mask to cough twice into the office.
Tamilselvam opened the office door after the supervisor had closed it. Before heading out, he coughed into the office a third time, lowering his mask to reveal his lips and nose.
The act was recorded by the air-conditioned, enclosed closed-circuit television camera in the office.
Tamilselvam was leaving the logistics office when he walked by a window that had a 56-year-old staffer on the opposite side of the glass.
Opening the window, he coughed at her while wearing his mask and shouted, “Kena COVID, kena COVID,” referring to the person on the receiving end with the Malay phrase “kena.”
When the coworkers who were coughed realized Tamilselvam had tested positive for COVID-19, they were concerned. The employee gave herself an ART after being sneered at; she was a dialysis patient with heart and renal problems.
From the event, none of them got COVID-19.
Tamilselvam then proceeded to a polyclinic, where he was issued a three-day medical certificate and given another swab test. He was instructed to isolate himself at home as well.
The company’s assistant logistics manager reported the incident to the police.
Tamilselvam claimed to have coughed at his coworkers as “a joke” throughout the course of the investigations. He said he went to the polyclinic to find out whether he had COVID-19 but did not take his positive test seriously.
Sruthi Boppana, the deputy public prosecutor, said that Tamilselvam had purposely coughed at his coworkers after defying clear directions to vacate the premises, calling the situation “no laughing matter.”
She requested a sentence of three to four weeks in prison, citing the fact that his acts coincided with a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Singapore, which prompted the tightening of COVID-19 regulations.
He might have received a fine of up to SGD10,000, a prison sentence of up to six months, or both for breaking a COVID-19 rule.
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