GEORGE TOWN | Desperate for paid leave, a worker in a construction company resorted to photo-editing software to doctor a picture of his self-test kit result.

“It is easy. Nobody can detect it unless they check the photo thoroughly,” he said.

First, he took a Covid-19 self-test, which would of course only show one line.

Then he took a picture of it and, using the photo-editing software, carefully selected that single line and made a clone of the image.

He said it was then a simple matter of moving the cloned line and placing it next to the “T” indicator.

Since the cloned line is part of the image of the test kit, its pixels, lighting and contrast are the same and is thus almost impossible to differentiate.

He said he then sent in the doctored photo to MySejahtera and shortly later received his Home Surveillance Order.

During his seven days of “quarantine”, he duly submitted his health report to MySejahtera twice a day and was not called to go to the clinic or Covid-19 assessment centre as he was not considered a high-risk patient.

Another person, who only wished to be known as Lina, used her friend’s positive self-test kit to get quarantine leave as she needed time to take care of her two-year-old son.

“I applied for leave at first as my babysitter had to go and take care of her mother in Perak but due to shortage of staff, my application was denied. So I was forced to fake my Covid-19 test result,” she confessed.

She added that she was forced to do it but realising her action was unethical, she vowed never to do it again.

When consulted, an official at the Penang Health Department, who declined to be named, said under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, which is now in force due to the pandemic, he could not find any powers allowing health authorities to take action against those who faked their Covid-19 test results.

“Companies can take their own action, including deduction of pay in lieu of seven days absence from work, suspension or even dismissal.

“We advice companies where their staff had faked their Covid-19 tests to report it to us too because it can lead them to making false medical insurance claims,” he said.


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