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Woman admits to skipping COVID-19 test, went shopping and visited boyfriend while on medical leave

Woman admits to skipping COVID-19 test, went shopping and visited boyfriend while on medical leave

Janani Kalaychelvam, 24, pleaded guilty to one charge of contravening COVID-19 laws. (Photo: TODAY/Raj Nadarajan)

SINGAPORE: A woman who was diagnosed with acute upper respiratory infection has admitted to skipping her COVID-19 test appointment. She left her home to go to a shopping mall and her boyfriend's place despite being on medical leave, TODAY reported.

Janani Kalaychelvam, 24, pleaded guilty on Thursday (Sep 16) to one charge of contravening COVID-19 laws. Another two similar charges will be taken into consideration for sentencing on Oct 5.

The court heard that Janani had gone to OneDoctors Family Clinic along Yishun Ring Road on the evening of Jan 30 this year. She complained of a sore throat, cough and experienced shortness of breath for a few days.

As the clinic had stopped collecting swab samples by that time, Janani was told to return on the morning of Feb 1 for the COVID-19 test. 

According to court documents, the doctor explained that he would usually issue a three-day medical certificate (MC) for patients who took the test on the spot, but since she would be returning two days later, he would issue her a five-day MC.

The doctor told her that she is not allowed to leave home during the period of her medical leave except to seek treatment or go to the clinic.

Despite acknowledging this, Janani took a taxi to her friend’s house to have dinner and remained there until about 3.50am, court documents stated.

On Feb 1, she skipped her swab test and was out for more than five hours. She went shopping at Northpoint City at around 7.50pm before taking a taxi to her boyfriend’s home.

The boyfriend and his mother were home and Janani stayed there until about 1am. She did not wear a face mask and did not tell anyone about her MC, according to court documents.

Janani ultimately did not test positive for COVID-19, TODAY reported.

Her lawyer, Ms Tan Jun Yin from Trident Law, asked for time to prepare a mitigation plea, said the report, adding that the prosecution did not reveal their sentencing submissions in open court.

Those convicted of breaching COVID-19 laws can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000 or both.

Source: CNA/jt(gs)

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