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It takes more than a RM1,000 fine to end violation of quarantine

04 Aug 2020 / 11:30 H.

IT takes just one case to ruin our fight against Covid-19. Kedah was declared a green zone more than three months ago. The state had been free of the virus since April 30.

All that changed when a restaurant owner broke home quarantine after returning from Sivagangga in India. He infected a family member, three restaurant workers and two customers.

The two customers infected 11 family members and a colleague. The Sivagangga cluster is now the fourth largest active one in the country.

Four areas in the state are under enhanced movement control order (EMCO) and five schools are closed.

Images of persons under surveillance (PUS) have been shared on social media lately. It is not that these people are breaking quarantine with intent to spread the virus.

However, they are breaking the law, whatever their reason is. It appears that the law is not stringent enough to deter them from venturing out and putting others at risk.

Among the cases that have been highlighted in the media, one involved an individual from Kuala Lumpur. The 66-year-old man was seen at a condominium lobby in Mont Kiara on July 23.

He was wearing a pink Covid-19 quarantine wristband. The man was slapped with a RM1,000 fine for violating home quarantine orders.

Another case involved a Tawau man who had returned from Japan. He was fined RM1,000 for taking off his quarantine wristband at KLIA before boarding a flight home, and another RM1,000 for not providing full disclosure on his health declaration form.

Such offenders face a fine of £1,000 (RM5,545) in the United Kingdom while those in Saudi Arabia will be slapped with a 200,000 riyal (RM225,930) fine and a two-year jail sentence. Quarantine violators in South Korea could be fined up to 10 million won (RM35,500) and jailed for up to a year.

A big fine of this amount would be enough to land people in major financial trouble. But we are taking such violations too lightly in Malaysia.

Such trifling penalties are not enough of a deterrent to ensure that quarantine violators are not putting others at grave risk.

Read this story in theSun’s iPaper:

It takes more than a RM1,000 fine to end violation of quarantine

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