The authorities in Singapore have jailed a taxi driver for four months on Wednesday for urging people into panic buying through a Facebook post amid the novel coronavirus.
According to the details, a taxi driver wrote a post on social media platform Facebook in which he falsely claimed that the food outlets would close and urged people to stock up due to impending COVID-19 restrictions.
40-year-old Kenneth Lai Yong Hui deleted the post which was posted in a private group on the social media platform Facebook with around 7,500 members after the 15 minutes, but the public prosecutor called for a sentence that would deter others.
It is pertinent to mention here that Singapore has imposed tough punishments on those who breach containment rules or spread misinformation as it tackles one of Asia’s highest COVID-19 rates.
“The psychological fight to allay fear and hysteria is just as important as the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19,” deputy public prosecutor Deborah Lee said in her sentencing submission, according to case records.
A spokesperson for the State Courts said that Lai, who represented himself and could not be reached for comment, was sentenced to four months’ jail.
It is worth mentioning here that the offense of transmitting a false message in Singapore is punishable with a fine not exceeding S$10,000 ($7,000) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both.