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Man admits absconding from COVID-19 swab test, took it only 9 months later and visited tattoo artist

Man admits absconding from COVID-19 swab test, took it only 9 months later and visited tattoo artist

File photo of a health worker performing a COVID-19 swab test. (Photo: iStock)

SINGAPORE: A man who went to a polyclinic for COVID-19-related symptoms was told he had to take a swab test. Instead of complying, Tan Fu Yu absconded from the clinic and took a test only nine months later.

The day after seeing the doctor, the 20-year-old also visited a tattoo studio where he got inked on his chest and bled excessively.

Tan pleaded guilty on Friday (Nov 26) to one count of leaving his home without reasonable excuse despite being issued a medical certificate requiring him to stay home, with a second similar charge taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Tan went to Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic on Dec 8 last year for a dry cough and itchy throat.

A doctor diagnosed him with an acute upper respiratory tract infection, and instructed Tan to undergo a swab test for COVID-19.

He also issued Tan a medical certificate saying he had an acute upper respiratory tract infection and excused him from work or school for three days. The certificate stated that Tan was required by law to stay at home until his COVID-19 swab test came back negative.

The doctor told Tan that he could not leave his home throughout the period of his medical certificate, or until he received a negative swab test result.

Tan acknowledged the explanation, collected his medical certificate and exited the consultation room. However, instead of going for his COVID-19 swab test and collecting his medication, Tan left the polyclinic and took a bus home.

The nurse tried to contact him by phone multiple times, but he did not pick up.

The next day, Tan left his home and took a Grab car to Sin Ming Road where he proceeded to go for a tattoo appointment.

The tattoo artist inked his chest and observed Tan to be bleeding excessively, said the prosecutor.

Tan left the studio after the procedure and took a bus home. He did not undergo any COVID-19 test that month, and took a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test only on Sep 19 this year, testing negative for COVID-19.

Court documents did not indicate why Tan was swabbed for COVID-19 in September. 

He will return to court for mitigation and sentencing next month.

Source: CNA/ll(zl)


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