Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian court sentenced Thursday an Indian man to five months in prison. The Indian man had violated a home quarantine order and had stepped out. In the process he infected a large number of people with the COVID-19 virus, leading to dozens of new coronavirus infections. This news was given by the ‘Bernama’ state news agency.
The 57-year-old resides in Malaysia and owns a restaurant in the northern state of Kedah. The man pleaded guilty to four charges of violating a mandated 14-day home quarantine order upon his return from India. He had come back to Malaysia in July.
The Indian man was also fined 12,000 ringgit ($2,864) by the Alor Setar Magistrate’s Court. The court held a special hearing at a Kedah hospital where the accused was undergoing treatment, ‘Bernama’ reported.
Authorities had earlier said the man initially tested negative for the coronavirus. He had left his home during the quarantine period to visit his restaurant. However, a second COVID-19 test turned out to be positive. Then dozens of people, including the man’s family members, restaurant workers and customers, were found to have been infected.
A total of 45 cases linked to the cluster have since been reported in at least three Malaysian states.
Malaysia has gradually lifted strict lockdown measures since May after successfully containing the spread of the pandemic. However, the government has warned that curbs may be reimposed after more than a dozen new clusters emerged in recent weeks.
The Southeast Asian country has reported 9,129 infections, including 125 deaths.
Authorities reintroduced a requirement last month. It said that people entering the country will have to undergo the mandatory two-week quarantine. They will have to do so at hotels and at government isolation centres. The government reintroduced this measure after hundreds of incoming travellers were found violating orders to self-isolate at home.