KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The person responsible for the Sivagangga Covid-19 cluster in Kedah was sentenced to five months’ jail and fined RM12,000, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob revealed today.
The defence minister said the authorities viewed the transgression seriously in a stern warning to the public amid growing concern over the emergence of new clusters as the government has eased restrictions.
“PDRM has taken action against an individual in the Sivagangga cluster for failure to remain under home quarantine,” the defence minister said during a press conference held in the Parliament building here.
“As we all know, this individual was supposed to be under home quarantine but instead went out to open his restaurant, and as a result, a few villages in Kedah and Perlis had to be locked down because of this individual’s failure to observe the regulation or standard operating procedure.”
The emergence of new clusters has prompted calls for stern punishment against those found breaching the Covid-19 mandatory quarantine.
Lawyers polled by Malay Mail said there are laws that can be used against the violators following public uproar over news that a permanent resident in Kedah behind the so-called Sivagangga cluster had ignored the quarantine order.
The index patient who broke his mandatory home quarantine has been identified as causing at least 40 others to be infected, some of which were third-generation cases.
Ismail Sabri said today the authorities have acted against 270 individuals for failing to remain under home quarantine.
From July 24 to August 12, 10,173 persons returned from abroad and have been placed under quarantine in 59 designated hotels and public training facilities throughout the country, the minister said.
From the total, 44 patients were sent for treatment while 2,332 had been discharged.