COVID Carrier Convicted and Incarcerated for Deliberately Contaminating Fellow Employees with a Dangerous Cough


A Singapore Man Sentenced to Jail for Deliberately Coughing on Colleagues While Infected with COVID-19

A Singapore man, Tamilselvam Ramaiya, 64, has been sentenced to two weeks in jail after intentionally coughing on his colleagues while he was infected with COVID-19. Ramaiya admitted to his actions, which he claimed were meant as a “joke.” The incident occurred during a period of heightened restrictions in the fall of 2021 and resulted in one of his colleagues contracting the virus.

Tamilselvam Ramaiya’s Deliberate Actions Put Colleagues at Risk

Tamilselvam Ramaiya, working as a cleaner for investment holding firm Leong Hup Singapore, reported for work at the company’s logistics office on October 18, 2021. After taking an antigen rapid test and receiving a positive result, he was instructed to leave the building. However, Ramaiya chose to remain inside and approached an assistant logistics manager. Unaware of his positive test result, a 33-year-old driver also joined Ramaiya. In an enclosed, air-conditioned room, the pair encountered two colleagues, a 40-year-old male logistics supervisor, and a 56-year-old female clerk who suffered from heart and kidney issues.

Multiple Deliberate Coughing Incidents

As the logistics supervisor told Ramaiya to leave the building and warned the female colleague with health issues to keep her distance, Ramaiya initially complied by wearing his mask and exiting the office. However, he then opened the office door and coughed twice into the room with his mask on before the logistics supervisor closed the door with his leg. Ramaiya proceeded to cough a third time, this time lowering his mask to expose his nose and mouth. He then opened a window from the outside and coughed towards a female clerk situated near the window, although he was wearing his mask and approximately an arm’s length away from her.

Prosecutor Pushes for Jail Time

The Deputy Public Prosecutor, Sruthi Boppana, pushed for a jail sentence of three to four weeks due to the physical and emotional well-being of the female colleague. Being a dialysis patient with cardiac and renal issues, she administered an antigen rapid test on herself following the incident. Ramaiya’s defense attorney, Lee Wei Yung, requested a fine instead of jail time, citing his client’s own heart condition and arguing that the offense was not committed out of malice.

COVID-19 Cases in Singapore and Vaccination Efforts

Singapore has had over 2.5 million COVID-19 cases between January 3, 2020, and September 13, 2022, resulting in approximately 1,870 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The number of cases has been steadily increasing since February 2022. The Singapore Ministry of Health reports that about 81 percent of the population has received at least some form of vaccination. In comparison, the United States has seen a decrease in positive cases in states with the highest COVID rates, with more bivalent booster shots rolled out to target the BA.5 omicron subvariant.


Tamilselvam Ramaiya’s deliberate coughing on his colleagues while he was infected with COVID-19 has resulted in a two-week jail sentence. His actions put his work associates at risk and caused one of them to contract the virus. Singapore continues to face challenges in managing the spread of COVID-19, with efforts focused on vaccination to protect the population. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible behavior during the pandemic.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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