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Healing the Divide founder Iris Koh hospitalised at SGH after being warded in IMH, gets charge upgraded

SINGAPORE — Iris Koh, the founder of controversial anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide, had her charge of cheating upgraded on Friday (Jan 28) to a more serious one. She was earlier accused of cheating the Ministry of Health (MOH) over allegedly fake vaccination records.

Iris Koh (pictured) is the founder of controversial anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide.

Iris Koh (pictured) is the founder of controversial anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide.

Singapore

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  • Founder of controversial anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide Iris Koh was charged with cheating MOH over vaccine records last Sunday
  • The charge has been upgraded to a more serious one alleging a criminal conspiracy
  • Koh is hospitalised at Singapore General Hospital after being warded at the Institute of Mental Health, her lawyer said
  • He did not know the reason she had been hospitalised

SINGAPORE — Iris Koh, the founder of controversial anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide, had her charge of cheating upgraded on Friday (Jan 28) to a more serious one. She was earlier accused of cheating the Ministry of Health (MOH) over allegedly fake vaccination records.

Koh, 46, was first charged last Sunday and has been on remand since.

Her new charge states that she was allegedly a party to a criminal conspiracy with a doctor, Jipson Quah, to defraud MOH between July last year and January this year, by agreeing to dishonestly make false representations to MOH that people were vaccinated with Sinopharm vaccine when they were not.

When contacted by TODAY, Koh’s lawyer, Mr Clarence Lun from Fervent Chambers, confirmed that she is now hospitalised in Singapore General Hospital, but said that he did not know why.

“We understand she was previously warded at IMH (Institute of Mental Health),” Mr Lun added without giving more details.

When asked if he would apply for Koh to be released on bail, the lawyer said that bail was denied during Friday’s hearing held over Zoom, which was not open to the public or media.

He also said that the defence is filing an application to the High Court to seek bail so that she may spend the upcoming Chinese New Year period with her family.

Quah and his assistant, Thomas Chua Cheng Soon, similarly had their cheating charges amended on Tuesday and Friday respectively to one of fraud by false representation.

This carries a maximum jail term of 20 years, while those convicted of cheating can be jailed for up to three years.

Quah is said to have conspired with Chua and a woman named Mehrajunnisha to lie to MOH that she received Sinopharm vaccine when she did not.

The police previously said that Koh had allegedly referred clients, believed to be members of Healing the Divide, to Quah and had also suggested administering something else in lieu of the vaccine to patients.

It is unclear if Mehrajunnisha was a member of the anti-vaccine group.

Quah now does not face any charges of conspiring with Koh, but prosecutors had said that investigations were ongoing and that they were unsure if more alleged offences would be uncovered.

He remains remanded until next Monday after a judge rejected his lawyer’s request for him to be released on bail.

Koh and Chua are set to return to court on Feb 4.

OTHER ALLEGATIONS

MOH earlier said that one of the clinics where Quah works — Wan Medical Clinic in Bedok — had allegedly partnered Koh to offer “remote” pre-event testing using antigen rapid tests for members of Healing the Divide.

It was found to have allegedly allowed people to submit unsupervised rapid tests, but lied that the clinic had supervised the tests.

The clinic is said to have allowed people to submit pre-recorded videos or photos, or both, purporting to show that they had performed the rapid test on themselves. The clinic then uploaded the negative test results for them, MOH said.

Quah was also found to have purportedly submitted a false positive antigen rapid test result to the Patient Risk Profile Portal, so that an unvaccinated patient could obtain a recovered status and be exempted from vaccine-related infection controls and regulations.

MOH did not state who this patient was. The Patient Risk Profile Portal by MOH allows doctors to access patients’ electronic records related to Covid-19.

Separately, Koh and her husband — Mr Raymond Ng, 48 — have been under investigation for allegedly instigating more than 2,000 members of Healing the Divide’s Telegram chat group to call and overwhelm public phone lines that help the public with Covid-19 matters.

Earlier this month, MOH filed another police report against Healing the Divide for purportedly telling parents to overwhelm medical staff members at paediatric vaccination centres with questions. 

Related topics

court Iris Koh Healing The Divide Ministry of Health conspiracy vaccination Covid-19

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