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Gov’t suspends supplying of food in quarantine centres after attempts to smuggle cigarette & betel-nut

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Cigarettes concealed but were caught by quarantine officers
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The government has suspended the privilege given to relatives to send food to their relatives in the quarantine centres after it was discovered that some concealed cigarettes and betel-nut in food stuffs—which is a breach of the quarantine rules.

Betel nuts packed in plastics intended to persons in quarantine. Photo Credited to NDC 2020. 1 1
Cigarettes concealed in bread buns. Photo Credited to NDC 2020.
Cigarettes concealed in cream buns sent to persons in quarantine. Photo Credited to NDC 2020.

A statement today, the Camp Management Sector Committee of the National Disaster Operations Committee (N-DOC) says it has suspended privileges that allowed families and relatives to bring in food and other items for persons in Quarantine Stations (QS) for an indefinite period as of today, Wednesday 23rd December 2020.

The suspension of this privilege came about after it was breached by some families and relatives of some persons in quarantine.

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With the current suspension, No Authorised Officer shall facilitate food and other items sent from families and relatives to persons quarantined in the Quarantine Stations effective as of Wednesday 23rd December.

The Camp Management Teams have been strictly monitoring and thoroughly checking supplied food by families and relatives, and recently discovered disallowed items such as cigarettes and betel nuts packed and concealed in cream buns, breads, chips and cup noodle packages to be passed on to persons quarantined at the Chengs Quarantine Station.

The Chengs QS is a high risk Quarantine Station with some positive cases arising from this QS, and such actions poses greater risk of spreading COVID 19.

The Camp Management Sector Committee explained that food privileges are given by Authorised Persons to families and relatives to supply food to persons quarantined at the Quarantine Stations under Section 33 of the COVID 19 Regulations 2020.

The Committee said whilst such privileges are given, families and relatives must strictly observe quarantine regulations especially items that are not allowed to be brought in or given to persons in the quarantine stations.

The forbidden items included cigarettes, betel nut, lime and alcohol as these are categorised as high risks to the spread of COVID 19.

The Camp Management Sector Committee stated that such action is a direct breach of the quarantine regulation and can be charged under COVID 19 Regulations 2020.

The maximum penalty for breaching the COVID 19 Regulations 2020 is $15,000 fine or Five (5) years imprisonment or both.

The Camp Management Sector Committee has updated the Quarantine Station Guide to reflect the suspension and banning of food items from being supplied by families and relatives to persons in all Quarantine Stations.

ENDS///

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