New Taipei fines 18-year-old US,499.32 for breaking mandatory quarantine

New Taipei fines 18-year-old US$51,499.32 for breaking mandatory quarantine

Taipei, April 17 (CNA) An 18-year-old man has been hit with a NT$1.5-million (US$51,499.32) fine for breaking his mandatory quarantine after having tested positive for COVID-19, New Taipei’s health department said on Sunday.

The man tested positive for COVID-19 on April 14, which meant that he and his family were required to undergo the new 10-day stay-at-home quarantine in their residence in the city’s Sanxia District, according to the health department.

The man breached his quarantine on Saturday to go out and play basketball with friends and go shopping for a birthday present for his girlfriend, who had also tested positive, said the department.

He documented his activities by posting on Instagram online, which an unnamed netizen then screen-captured and sent to the authorities.

After being notified, police and health officials visited the man’s home on Sunday and confirmed that he had indeed breached quarantine, which he initially denied. He was then taken by police to a government-run quarantine center to finish out the rest of his quarantine.

The man had left his smartphone at home deliberately to avert the “electronic fence” designed to monitor the location of quarantine individuals, according to the health department, though it did not say if he had gone out with a second phone or had asked his friends to post footage of him online.

The city said that the man’s actions in breaking his quarantine, leaving his phone behind, and posting his misdeeds online were in breach of Article 13 of a special COVID-19 measures act, and will fine him NT$1.5 million, the heaviest fine issued by the city since the pandemic began.

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