MOH suspends officer who was arrested over leak of COVID-19 case numbers

MOH suspends officer who was arrested over leak of COVID-19 case numbers

File photo of handcuffs 04
Photo illustration of a person in handcuffs. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) has suspended an officer accused of leaking COVID-19 case numbers and accessing information without authorisation, the ministry said on Friday (Apr 24).

The 35-year-old woman was arrested under the Official Secrets Act and Computer Misuse Act, the police said on Thursday.

She is accused of sharing COVID-19 case figures with members of a private WeChat group before they were officially released to the public.

READ: Civil servant arrested under Official Secrets Act over leak of COVID-19 case numbers

The civil servant also allegedly accessed a Government database without authorisation to retrieve confidential information about someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus and then passed this information on to a friend.

Confidential information on COVID-19 cases is placed on a secured server that is only accessible by a restricted group of officers, said MOH.

Confirming the officer was from the ministry, MOH said she had authorised access to the information for work, but allegedly used the access for other unauthorised purposes. 

She has been suspended from work while police investigations are ongoing and no longer has access to the ministry's confidential information, said MOH.

"MOH takes any wrongful access and communication of information by our staff seriously," it said.

"Following the incident, MOH is reviewing our processes to ensure that the necessary information security protocols are in place."

As of Friday, Singapore has reported 12,075 cases of COVID-19. Twelve people have died of complications related to the disease.

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Source: CNA/nc