Quarantined elderly woman who ate out sentenced to jail, RM8,000 fine

Viral photo of the woman at Hanaz Cafe (left) file photo of jail bars. Photos: Jemilah Mahmood /Twitter and Weston MacKinnon
Viral photo of the woman at Hanaz Cafe (left) file photo of jail bars. Photos: Jemilah Mahmood /Twitter and Weston MacKinnon

The elderly woman who ate out while under quarantine and later tested positive for COVID-19 was this morning sentenced to a day in jail and a RM8,000 (about US$2,000) fine. 

A photo of Nur Emah Mohamad Hashim, 72, dining at the Hanaz Cafe in Ipoh on July 6 while wearing the pink quarantine wristband went viral on social media last month, forcing the eatery to close for disinfection. She also later tested positive for the disease and was taken to hospital. 

At the Ipoh Sessions Court today, Nur Emah pleaded guilty to violating quarantine measures and appealed for lighter sentencing citing her husband’s death, her health, and that it was her first criminal offense. However, the judge denied. 

“I am appealing for a lighter sentence as it is my first offense,” she said, and later added: “My husband has passed away, leaving me to raise three children. I am also unwell.”

Nur Emah will have to spend another six months in jail if she does not pay the fine. It is not known whether she has recovered from COVID-19. 

Nur Emah was placed under quarantine as she had flown into Malaysia from abroad on July 4. But she had gone out to eat just two days later. 

In the viral photo, Nur Emah was seen having a meal at the restaurant while wearing the pink wristband, which marked that she had not yet tested negative for COVID-19. 

She was later found to be infectious on July 17 and was admitted to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital.

Individuals issued the wristbands are not allowed to leave their homes until they are tested for the disease. 

Other stories to check out:

Woman who ate out while under quarantine tests positive for COVID-19

Perak investigates woman who wore COVID-19 quarantine wristband at Ipoh cafe

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