Man with upper respiratory tract infection unlawfully left home for tattooing session

SINGAPORE – A man who was issued a medical certificate (MC) after he was diagnosed with acute upper respiratory tract infection in a clinic last December decided to skip his Covid-19 swab test and took a bus home.

Instead of staying indoors the next day, Tan Fu Yu left his Ang Mo Kio flat and took a private-hire car to a Sin Ming Road tattoo studio to get his chest inked.

Tan went for a polymerase chain reaction test for Covid-19 only on Sept 19 this year and tested negative for it.

Court documents do not disclose why he took the test about nine months after receiving the MC last December.

On Friday (Nov 26), the 20-year-old Singaporean pleaded guilty in a district court to leaving his home without a reasonable excuse despite being given a relevant MC .

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim said that Tan went to Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic at around 3pm on Dec 8 last year to seek treatment for a dry cough and an itchy throat.

A doctor later diagnosed him with an acute upper respiratory tract infection and told him to undergo a swab test for Covid-19.

The doctor also issued Tan with an MC, excusing him from work or school for three days.

The MC also stated that Tan was required by law to stay at home until his swab test showed a negative result.

Tan acknowledged the doctor’s explanation, collected his MC and left the consultation room.

The DPP said: “Instead of going for his Covid-19 swab test and collecting his medications, the defendant left (the polyclinic) and returned to his residence by bus.

“The nurse tried to contact the defendant at his mobile phone multiple times, but the calls were unanswered.”

The next day, Tan left his home and reached the tattoo studio at around 1.40pm.

The artist then noticed that Tan was bleeding excessively while getting his chest inked.

After the session, Tan left the studio at around 3pm and took a bus home.

On Friday, DPP Lim urged the court to give him to a short jail sentence, stressing that he had left his home for a “frivolous reason” – to get a tattoo done.

Tan, who was unrepresented, pleaded for a second chance and added: “(There was) no excuse for whatever I did.”

He will be sentenced on Dec 9.

For committing the offence, he can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.