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Prank Gone Wrong: Teen Comes Clean About Catching COVID-19 and Being in ICU on Social Media Platforms

A teenager admits that he lied about being infected with the Covid-19 virus and being admitted in an intensive care unit which caused a friend, who at the time was serving his mandatory national service in Pulau Tekong being sent back to his home to be quarantined. 

As a result, the army staff had to disinfect the friend’s room and those who had been in contact with him were forced to be isolated as well. The action has caused the training schedule for that day to be disrupted.

Read on to find out in this Singapore news about the latest update about this incident.

The Covid Positive Prank

On November 2, 19-year old Siew Hanlong was declared remorseful for two counts of posting a false message in accordance with the Miscellaneous Offences Act for Public Order and Nuisance.

It was presented in the court that he had posted on social media in which he lied about contracting the coronavirus infection as a prank on his friends.

Siew just uploaded a photo on his Instagram of a positive test of polymerase chain reaction that he looked up on the internet at 1am back on May 23. The infamous image has a caption that says, “Guys… I got the new covid variant bye im gonna die.”

After that, he also posted an image of himself lying on what appears to be a hospital bed, along with the caption that says, “in ICU right now farewell guys”.

The truth is that he posted both the image while he was at home and the second photo was from a hospital admission he had in before with an incident that is unrelated to contracting the coronavirus disease.

He then decided to delete the two posts 15 minutes after it was uploaded but it had already caused so much trouble. 


A friend of Siew who is the same age as him was serving his national military service at Pulau Tekong. The poor guy had awakened at 4:45am that morning and went on to open their group chat and saw his friends chatting about Siew’s posts.

He was so afraid that he might have contracted the virus as he remembered that he had met Siew prior to the post. The friend tried to call Siew to verify the posts but he failed to respond. 

The friend of Siew then decided to report to his military superiors that he had a previous interaction with a Covid-19 patient and he was sent back to his home to be quarantined after he had gone under a swab test.

After the friend arrived at his home, at around 11:15am Siew then finally responded to him saying that his instagram posts were meant to be a prank.


As a result, District Judge Kessler Soh reprimanded Siew saying that even though he thought it was a prank, it had very dire consequences. 

After that, the judge questioned Siew if he felt sorry for his actions and behavior, Siew then said yes without reluctance, showing his remorse for what happened.

Siew is scheduled to be back at the court on December 14 for the final ruling of his case.

Public Warning

Under the Miscellaneous Offences Act for Public Order and Nuisance, Siew could pay a fine of $10,000 or be sent to jail for a term of three years due to his actions of communicating false messages regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Last January, the public was warned by the authorities of not posting and spreading false information regarding the Covid-19 virus or pretending to be contracting the infection because offenders could be subjected to serious consequences. 

The authorities continued to urge the public to properly educate themselves regarding the effects of the coronavirus to the health and other aspects of living.

For more Singapore news like this and other interesting topics, just visit The Straits Times.