A SOUTH Korean teacher has been jailed for six months for lying 20 times to track and trace officials and infecting 80 people.
The 24-year-old teacher tested positive on May 9 and was sentenced in Incheon District Court earlier today.
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In the ruling, the court said the defendant “lied more than 20 times to health officials tasked with contact tracing”.
The teacher, therefore, impeded the efforts to isolate people who might have become infected or were exposed to the virus.
“His act inflicted huge economic and social damage and caused fear among community members,” the court heard.
The teacher tested positive after visiting a club and a restaurant that sells alcohol in the South Korean capital of Seoul.
However the 24-year-old lied to health authorities when asked about his job and told them that he was unemployed.
One day earlier the man had taught at a private academy in Michuhol Ward in Incheon, about 31 miles west of Seoul.
TWO-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE
Local health authorities were unsure about the man’s reports and contacted the police to secure his phone records which delayed the tracing process.
More than 40 students were infected in Incheon with an estimated 40 more infected through various transmissions.
During the previous hearing that was held last month, prosecutors demanded that the teacher serve a two-year prison sentence which is the maximum sentence that the current laws allow.
Appearing in court today the defendant apologised for his actions, Yonhap News Agency reported.
During the hearing, the teacher said: “I had no idea that something so serious could happen as a result of what I said”.
The first sentence handed out for breaking quarantine rules in South Korea was given out back in May.
The 27-year-old was arrested in April after breaking the quarantines rules twice.
He left his residence while under 14-day self-isolation and was then moved to a quarantine facility, where he was again caught leaving without permission.
The man was “convicted of violating the Infectious Diseases Control and Prevention Act, and was given four months in jail”, an official at the Uijeongbu District Court told AFP.
South Korea has recorded 24,442 positive cases and 427 covid-related deaths since February 15.