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New Delhi: A Malaysian court Thursday jailed a 57-year-old Indian man for five months for violating its 14-day home quarantine rule, leading to dozens of new coronavirus infections.

The man, who owns a restaurant in the northern state of Kedah, had returned from India in July.

According to the Malaysian state news agency Bernama, the special hearing was held at a hospital in Kedah where the accused has been undergoing treatment. Aside from a jail term, the Alor Setar Magistrate’s Court has also fined him 12,000 ringgit (more than Rs 2.1 lakh).

Authorities have been quoted as saying that the man had broken the home quarantine rule to visit his restaurant, after initially testing negative for Covid-19. When the second test came back as positive, many of his family members, colleagues and customers were also found to have been infected.

A total of 45 cases linked to the cluster have since been reported in at least three Malaysian states.

Last month, the country had re-introduced its mandatory two-week quarantine rule at hotels and government isolation centres for people entering the country after many were found violating home quarantine norms.

Malaysia had lifted many of its lockdown measures since May, after containing the spread of Covid-19. But following a spurt in new cases recently, the country said lockdown restrictions might be re-introduced.

So far, over 9,100 Covid-19 cases and 125 deaths have been reported from the country.

Also read: ‘Work in India, pay taxes there’ — foreign journalists ask why their re-entry still blocked


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