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Civil servant fined for lying about visits to COVID-19-hit facilities

Politics 14:42 July 07, 2021

DAEJEON, July 7 (Yonhap) -- A civil servant was fined heavily Wednesday for failing to disclose his visits to COVID-19 clusters before testing positive for the coronavirus.

The 24-year-old official, whose identity was withheld, was sentenced to a fine of 20 million won (US$17,600) by the Daejeon District Court in the central city of Daejeon for violating the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act.

Twenty million won is the maximum amount of fine stipulated by the infectious disease control law for obstructing epidemiological investigations.

Public health officials control access to a COVID-19-hit religious facility in Sangju, southeastern South Korea, in this file photo taken on Jan. 14, 2021. (Yonhap)

The official, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in January this year, was indicted for failing to tell epidemiological investigators about his earlier visits to two religious facilities hit by massive outbreaks of the coronavirus.

The official allegedly visited the so-called Back to Jerusalem Center in Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province, and a church in Daejeon between November and December last year. At that time, health authorities were struggling to contain clusters of COVID-19 infections traced to the two facilities.

"The defendant disregarded the national and public efforts to prevent the spread of the infectious disease. It is very likely that any act of obstructing epidemiological investigations can be condemned," the court said.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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