Malaysian Drug Trafficker Tested Negative On ART, But Positive On PCR

While the capital punishment was scheduled to be carried out against Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran Dharmalingam today (10 Nov), his execution was stayed after he tested positive for Covid-19.

M’sian Drug Trafficker On Death Row Gets Covid-19, Judge Issues Stay Of Execution

Late Tuesday (9 Nov) night, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) issued a statement explaining that Nagaenthran had tested negative on an ART but positive on a PCR test.

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SPS also shared that Nagaenthran is unvaccinated but remains well and asymptomatic.

Here’s a recap of the latest developments.

Drug trafficker on death row only in court for a few minutes

Following initial reports that Nagaenthran had tested positive for Covid-19 and granted a stay of execution, SPS issued a follow-up statement on Tuesday (9 Nov) night.

According to SPS, the 33-year-old was administered both ART and PCR tests on Monday (8 Nov).

The ART, which has a shorter ‘lead time’, returned negative on the same day, and he was brought to court at around noon on Tuesday (9 Nov).

Coincidentally, Nagaenthran’s positive PCR results came in later that afternoon, and he was ushered out of court and isolated.

Nagaenthran’s appearance in court was brief and merely lasted “a few minutes”, reports Channel NewsAsia.

He was also masked and reportedly separated from the others present in court by glass panels surrounding the dock.

Despite being unvaccinated, Nagaenthran remains well and is asymptomatic.

Several inmates & staff infected in Institution A1

SPS also provided more information on how Nagaenthran could’ve been possibly infected.

Being detained at Institution A1 in Changi Prison Complex, Nagaenthran reportedly had transient contact with 2 infected staff members.

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As of Tuesday (9 Nov), several inmates and staff in Institution A1 had tested positive for the coronavirus. The affected housing units have been locked down to prevent further spread.

The Court of Appeal has granted Nagaenthran a stay of execution until all pending proceedings have concluded.

Meanwhile, he’ll be receiving medical attention for the infection, and all proceedings against him have been suspended until he’s recovered.

Hope he recovers well

As Covid-19 continues to spread through our community, it’s inevitable that even inmates can contract the virus.

We hope Nagaenthran will recover from the infection soon, allowing him to attend the subsequent proceedings.

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Featured image adapted from Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign and Google Maps