Covid-19: 16 people fined for attending 20-person birthday party in Singapore’s Hougang flat

Sixteen people were fined for attending a 20-person birthday party at a flat in Hougang last year. ― Unsplash pic
Sixteen people were fined for attending a 20-person birthday party at a flat in Hougang last year. ― Unsplash pic

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SINGAPORE, Dec 23 — Fifteen women and a man were fined between S$3,000 (RM9,268) and S$4,000 yesterday (December 22) for breaching Covid-19 rules by attending a 20-person birthday party at a flat in Hougang last year.

This was during the second phase of Singapore’s initial reopening plan after a semi-lockdown last year, when households were allowed to receive only up to five visitors at a time.

All of the attendees were either Singaporeans or Vietnamese, with some of them being Singapore permanent residents.

Aside from the 16 people, who all pleaded guilty to one count of breaching Covid-19 social gathering rules, the woman living in the flat — Ngo Thi Ai, 36 — has been charged with permitting 19 people to remain at her place of residence.

The case for Ai, a coffee shop attendant, is pending before the courts.

The other three attendees returned to Vietnam shortly after the birthday celebration.

Those who were fined S$3,000 yesterday were:

— Mai Thi Kim My, 33, a nail manicurist

— Bui Thi Hong Mai, 41, self-employed

— Ngo Thi Kim Thuy, 37, a hawker

— Rodney Chee Kuan Heng, 49, a security supervisor and Ngo Thi Kim Thuy’s husband

— Nguyen Thi Xuan, 37, a sales promoter

— Tran Kim Ngan, 27, unemployed

— Chhit Thida, 32, a freelance nail designer

— Huynh Thi Thu Hien, 38, unemployed

— Nguyen Thi Thanh, 39, unemployed

— Lam Thi Lau, 39, a beautician

— Cao Ngoc Tuyet, 32, unemployed

— Ho Thi Cam Hong, 41, unemployed

— Dang Thi Thuy Phuong, 34, a skincare assistant

The remaining three who were fined S$4,000, as they had either organised or invited several people to the party, were:

— Tran Thi Phuong Dao, 40, unemployed

— Ta Xuan Anh, 48, a coffee-shop attendant

— Vo Thi Minh Tam, 41, a beautician

The court heard that Ai and Ta Xuan Anh had planned to celebrate the latter’s birthday on August 19 last year at the host's three-room flat located along Hougang Avenue 3.

The two women then decided to invite their friends over. Ai also allegedly planned for and prepared food for the invited guests.

On that day, between 7pm and 10pm, the 18 others arrived at the flat and were served food and drinks. Chee had accompanied his wife to the party, while several guests had invited some others over.

Around 10.30pm, a member of the public called for police assistance and reported that there were more than 15 people in the unit.

Police officers responded to the call and instructed them to disperse and leave the flat, after noting down their details. They all complied.

They were all aware of the Covid-19 regulations at the time, the court heard.

Those convicted of flouting Covid-19 laws can be fined up to S$10,000 or jailed for up to six months, or punished with both. ― TODAY

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