The time of the straits
April 25, 2022
In order to circumvent contact tracing efforts while on leave, a healthcare worker used his 12-year-old niece’s TraceTogether token to enter public places to obtain food and borrow library books.
On Monday April 25, Priscilla Tan Siew Sin, 34, was fined $10,000 for cheating by impersonation. Two other similar charges were considered for his sentencing.
Tan did not have Covid-19 at the time.
The court heard that Tan, a patient services associate at the National Institute of Neuroscience at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, was established on April 30 last year as a contact of a doctor who tested positive. to Covid-19 and had been placed on leave of absence.
She was allowed at the time to leave her place of residence for necessities such as buying food.
However, Tan feared she would face trouble for leaving the house if she was found to have contracted Covid-19 or if she came into contact with someone else who had the virus, said the deputy prosecutor Wu Yu Jie.
With her swab result still pending on April 30 last year, Tan used her niece’s TraceTogether token to buy dinner at the Poiz Center in Upper Serangoon.
She also used her niece’s token on May 2 of the same year at the [email protected] to borrow books and later to Marina Square for dinner.
Tan’s lawyers, Ms Joyce Khoo and Ms Diana Ngiam of Quahe Woo & Palmer, urged the court to impose a $5,000 fine, arguing that no real harm had been caused by Tan’s actions.
Ms Khoo said the Covid-19 situation at the time was very confusing to many, and her client made the wrong decision to use her niece’s TraceTogether token when she was authorized to use hers.
“It was a stupid mistake,” she added.
DPP Wu agreed that Tan was allowed to leave her home, but argued she intended to circumvent contact tracing.
Calling for general deterrence to prevent others from committing similar offences, DPP Wu said the more people act this way, the less impact the contact tracing regime will have.
The defense also pleaded for leniency in light of the easing of measures that come into effect on Tuesday, including most sites no longer requiring registration with TraceTogether.
However, District Judge Ronald Gwee said it was necessary to look at when the offense was committed, and added that the government had said that if the Covid-19 situation worsens, the measures could be at again reinforced.
For cheating by impersonation, Tan could have been jailed for five years, fined, or both.