No running away: ‘Date’ with court for quarantine violaters

Billy (centre) with his two prosecutors, Jemat Banta (right) and Wilfred John at the court.

SIBU, June 4: Individuals who violate their compulsory Covid-19 quarantine can look forward to a ‘date’ in court, warned the State Health Department today.

Its chief environmental health officer, Billy Sujang highlighted the department would not hesitate to take stern action on them for violating the Observation and Surveillance of the Contacts Order under Section 15(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

The accused may be charged under Section 22(b) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 which provides for a fine or up to two years’ jail.

Billy made these remarks after the Sibu Magistrate’s Court fined site supervisor, Jeffery Jambo Dana, 27, RM5,000 in default of five months’ jail for breaking his quarantine to eat noodles at a cafe in Sibujaya at 9am on May 25.

At the time, Jeffery was supposed to observe a 14-day quarantine at his home until May 30 after returning from Kuala Lumpur where he worked.

The accused had drawn widespread public attention and criticism to his exploit by uploading a photo of the outing to his Facebook account.

“I want to tell people who have been told to observe quarantine and not break it. They should not take things for granted as once they are caught breaking the quarantine, we will have to charge them in court,” Billy emphasised, adding that as such a case is non-compoundable, it would have to be brought before the courts.

He also emphasised that the accused was charged in court not to find fault, but to serve as a reminder to others to follow the rules.

Concerning Jeffery’s case, Billy disclosed the former was the first individual under quarantine to be charged in court for breaking it. — DayakDaily