Singapore PR Meets Another On Plane, Allegedly Breaches SHN

Serving Stay-Home Notice (SHN) alone may undoubtedly be a lonely experience for some, due to the lack of human contact.

The isolation may prompt people to break the rules by seeking contact with others, but that would be a very bad mistake indeed.

2 Singapore permanent residents (PRs) will find that out the hard way after one allegedly visited the room of the other despite both of them being on SHN.

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They ended up being charged in court for breaching SHN requirements.

PRs got to know each other on same flight

In a media release on Friday (2 Jul), the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) told the story of 2 star-crossed travellers.

Their names are Suresh Naidu Bojanki, 37, and Bharati Tulshiram Choudhari, 47.

However, their 10-year age gap didn’t prevent them from getting to know each other well, when they shared the same flight back to Singapore from an unspecified country on 14 Mar.

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Sounds like a good beginning to a beautiful relationship, but Covid-19 has ruined travel romances for now.

They were put in different rooms

When they arrived in Singapore, Suresh and Bharati were each served a 14-day SHN.

They were sent to the same dedicated facility – but put in different rooms. That’s probably because they were strangers prior to the flight.

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They were also told by ICA officers that they were not allowed to leave their rooms for 14 days. Visitors were also banned.

And just like that, a budding relationship was killed off right there and then. Or was it?

Man visited woman for over 30 minutes

Suresh and Bharati decided that being in different rooms and told to stay there wasn’t a barrier to getting to know each other even better.

Thus, on 20 Mar – Day 7 of their separation – Suresh allegedly left his room at about 12.30am.

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Worse still, he allegedly wasn’t even wearing a mask, the ICA said.

His destination was Bharati’s room.

After entering her room, he allegedly stayed there for more than 30 minutes.

Both charged in court on 2 Jul

The ICA didn’t say how they were found out, but obviously they didn’t escape detection.

On Friday (2 Jul), both of them were charged in court under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act.

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They’re accused of engaging in a conspiracy – one that enabled Suresh to breach a term of his SHN.

This exposed others to the risk of infection.

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Man faces punishment for not wearing mask

Suresh also faces another charge because he failed to wear a mask outside his room.

That contravenes Regulation 3A of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, which compels everyone in Singapore to wear a mask outside their homes – a rule that somehow not everyone can follow.

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If convicted, 1st-time offenders may be punished with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or jail term of up to 6 months.

For foreigners, their pass or permit to work or stay in Singapore may be revoked or shortened.

Rules are there for a reason

Suresh and Bharati aren’t the 1st duo to fall afoul of the law. Last year, a British man also left his room during SHN to meet up with his Singaporean fiancée.

It’s obviously a buzzkill to be separated from someone special for 14 days, but the rules are there for a reason.

They’re meant to protect the community from spread of Covid-19, so if you’re put on SHN, please follow the rules.

If you don’t, you might get more action than you bargained for – from the law.

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Featured images adapted from Freepik and Facebook, for illustration purposes only.