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Arrest warrant issued for man accused of visiting grandma, going for frog porridge while on medical leave

SINGAPORE: A warrant of arrest has been issued for a 21-year-old man who failed to show up in court for his guilty plea to two charges of leaving home while on medical leave for respiratory tract infections.

The warrant was issued for Verner Chua Jun Jie on Friday (Oct 22) after he failed to turn up in court, where he had been set to plead guilty to his charges. 

Chua faces two charges under the Infectious Diseases Act for exposing others to the risk of contracting COVID-19 from him by leaving his home while he was ordered to stay there during his period of medical leave.

According to charge sheets, Chua was diagnosed with an upper respiratory tract infection by a doctor in Bukit Batok, and was told to stay home from Aug 23 to Aug 27 last year.

However, Chua allegedly left his flat in West Coast Drive on Aug 27 and took a Grab vehicle to visit his maternal grandmother at her Bukit Batok home.

He then took another Grab vehicle to a coffee shop to buy lunch before taking a third Grab ride home.

In December last year, he was diagnosed with acute respiratory infection by a doctor from a clinic in Bukit Gombak. The doctor issued him a medical certificate that required him to stay home between Dec 6 and Dec 8.

However, Chua allegedly failed to head home immediately. Instead, he is accused of taking a taxi from the clinic to Jalan Sultan to meet a friend.

From there, he allegedly took another cab to Balestier for dessert with his friend. After this, they took a third cab to Geylang where they had frog porridge, before Chua headed home.

Chua is accused of exposing his grandmother, his friend and other people at the locations he visited to the risk of contracting COVID-19 from him.

A hearing to review his warrant to arrest was fixed for Dec 3.

If convicted under the Infectious Diseases Act, he could be jailed up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both per charge.

Source: CNA/ll(zl)


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