Court grants bail to doctor and assistant accused of lying to MOH that woman was vaccinated against Covid-19
SINGAPORE — A general practitioner and his assistant, who allegedly submitted a false Covid-19 vaccination record for an unvaccinated woman in a case linked to a controversial anti-vaccine group, were granted bail on Monday (Jan 31).
SINGAPORE — A general practitioner and his assistant, who allegedly submitted a false Covid-19 vaccination record for an unvaccinated woman in a case linked to an anti-vaccine group, were granted bail on Monday (Jan 31).
The 33-year-old doctor, Jipson Quah, was earlier denied bail after the prosecution asked that he be remanded for another week for further investigations. This was given the urgency of making sure that unvaccinated people were not using their false vaccination status to enter places or take part in activities that need such checks.
Quah is accused of making a false representation on Jan 14 to the Ministry of Health (MOH). He had recorded that the woman — identified in court documents as Mehrajunnisha — was given a Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine dose when she was not. This was allegedly so that she could get a certificate of vaccination.
Quah and his assistant Thomas Chua Cheng Soon, 40, each face one charge of engaging in a conspiracy to dishonestly make a false representation to MOH.
Quah was offered S$20,000 bail and Chua was granted S$15,000 bail.
The doctor and his assistant appeared in court on Monday via a video link from their place of remand. Quah was represented by a new lawyer, Mr Anand Nalachandran of law firm Forte Law, who took over the case from a team of lawyers from legal practice Withers KhattarWong.
District Judge Terence Tay granted Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Samuel Yap’s request to order Quah and Chua not to communicate with each other, Mehrajunnisha or any of the prosecution’s witnesses while out on bail.
An exception was made to allow Quah to contact staff members at his clinics for work reasons.
MOH had suspended four clinics that he owns or manages. They are Wan Medical Clinic in Bedok North, Mayfair Medical Clinic in Woodlands, Mayfair Medical Clinic (Yishun Chong Pang), and Ong Clinic & Surgery (Yishun).
Quah and Chua were also ordered not to contact Iris Koh, the founder of anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide.
Koh was charged last week with conspiring with Quah between July last year and January this year to defraud MOH by agreeing to dishonestly make false representations that people were vaccinated with Sinopharm when they were not.
Koh allegedly referred clients, believed to be members of Healing the Divide, to Quah and was also said to have suggested administering something else in lieu of the vaccine to patients.
She remains on remand at the Singapore General Hospital after the High Court on Monday dismissed her application for bail.
DPP Samuel Yap told the court on Monday that investigations were still under way, and asked for a six-week adjournment for the cases involving Quah and Chua. They will be heard again in court on March 14.
For dishonestly making a false representation under Section 424A of the Penal Code, the two men could be jailed for up to 20 years or fined, or punished with both.