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Malaysian drug trafficker on death row among ‘several’ inmates who have Covid-19: Singapore Prison Service

SINGAPORE — Convicted Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam was among “several” inmates and staff members who have tested positive for Covid-19. They were from Institution A1, a block within the Changi Prison Complex, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said late on Tuesday (Nov 9) night.

Institution A1, where convict Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam is housed, is located within Cluster A of the Changi Prison Complex (pictured).

Institution A1, where convict Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam is housed, is located within Cluster A of the Changi Prison Complex (pictured).

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SINGAPORE — Convicted Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam was among “several” inmates and staff members who have tested positive for Covid-19. They were from Institution A1, a block within the Changi Prison Complex, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said late on Tuesday (Nov 9) night.

The affected housing units in Institution A1 have since been locked down to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

SPS said in its statement that Nagaenthran had “transient contact” with two staff members who had tested positive for the virus.

Earlier in the day, three judges in the Court of Appeal issued a last-minute stay of execution for Nagaenthran after he was found to have Covid-19.

Nagaenthran, who has been on death row for more than a decade, was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday morning.

On Monday, he took an antigen rapid test and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The rapid test came back negative that day.

At noon on Tuesday, he was taken to court. His PCR test came back positive later in the afternoon. SPS said it immediately informed the court and he was immediately isolated.

“In view of the situation, the Court of Appeal granted a stay of the judicial execution with immediate effect until all pending proceedings are concluded.

“Nagaenthran will receive medical attention and proceedings will resume on a date to be fixed, after he has recovered,” SPS added.

Nagaenthran is well and has no symptoms. He had not reported any illness before his court hearing, SPS noted.

“He is not vaccinated as he had opted not to receive any Covid-19 vaccine.

“SPS has informed his family and will continue to provide the family with the necessary support.”

CASES IN PRISONS

Given the high number of Covid-19 cases in the community, SPS said that “more cases of infection are likely to arise in prisons as well”.

It has taken steps to ensure that the situation remains under control, it added.

As of Nov 7, 97 per cent of eligible inmates have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 90 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

Among staff members, 99.5 per cent have completed both doses of vaccination.

SPS will continue to safeguard the health and safety of its inmates, staff members, visitors and partners with safe management measures, it said.

“Staff and partners entering prison facilities must undergo antigen rapid test twice weekly, while external personnel entering prisons on an ad-hoc basis are required to undergo an antigen rapid test prior to each entry into prisons.”

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus prison drug trafficking death penalty Singapore Prison Service

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