42 of 60 new COVID cases in Singapore linked to growing KTV cluster

·Editorial team
·5 min read
(PHOTOS: Google Maps Streetview, empressktv/Facebook and supremektv/Facebook)
(PHOTOS: Google Maps Streetview, empressktv/Facebook and supremektv/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (14 July) confirmed 60 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 62,804.

Of them, 56 are local cases in the community, including 42 – out of 51 linked infections – who belong to a fast-growing KTV lounges/clubs cluster. The cluster is now linked to 54 cases.

Among those included in the cluster is a 40-year-old passenger on board a Dream Cruises ship, which turned back three days after it set off from Singapore on a cruise to nowhere following the discovery.

The remaining four cases are imported, of whom three were detected upon their arrival here while one developed the illness during their stay-home notice or isolation period.

At a virtual media doorstop with local media on Wednesday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung described the KTV cluster as "troubling and disappointing". He noted that the police will take action against the KTV lounges and hostesses who might have contravened COVID-19 rules.

"While this is disappointing, we are not entirely surprised that clusters like this will pop up. Over the past weeks, we saw the Changi cluster, Bukit Merah cluster, and now the KTV cluster," said Ong.

"This is the nature of the Delta variant. It’s a lot more transmissible and so long as there are embers in the community, it is likely to pop up and infect many more people."

The fourth day in a row where new local cases are reported, Wednesday saw the highest number of daily community infections reported since 64 such cases were reported on 8 April last year.

It also marks the highest number of daily local cases reported since 73 such cases were reported on 11 September last year, all of whom were dormitory residents.

Three more COVID-19 clusters were identified by the MOH on Wednesday – "Case 64642", "Case 64735" and "Case 64752", linked to a total of three, four, and five cases, respectively. The addition brings the number of active clusters in Singapore to 25.

The largest active cluster in Singapore remains at the 115 Bukit Merah View market, linked to 94 cases.

The ministry also noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from 24 in the week before to 88 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from seven in the week before to 15 in the past week.

It added that the seven-day moving average number of all linked community cases and all unlinked community cases are 10.4 and 2.1 respectively.

Four more KTV lounges to close for 2 weeks

The MOH on Wednesday announced that four more KTV lounges will be closed for two weeks from Thursday till 29 July due to "likely ongoing transmission" at the premises.

The four venues are One Exclusive at 114 Middle Road, Level 9 (L9) at 114 Middle Road, Terminal 10 at Clarke Quay, and Club M at 114 Middle Road.

The MOH said it will extend free COVID-19 testing to members of the public who had visited the KTV outlets between 29 June and Wednesday or similar KTV lounges or clubs operating as F&B outlets.

Free COVID-19 testing will also be extended to those who have interacted with social hostesses of any nationality in any setting between 29 June and Wednesday.

About 100 patrons and customers of KTV lounges have gotten themselves tested on Tuesday.

This comes a day after the ministry announced that three KTV lounges – Club Dolce at Balestier Point, WU Bistro at Golden Mile Complex, and Club De Zara at Textile Centre – will be closed for two weeks.

On Monday, the MOH had announced similar testing measures for staff members and visitors of Club Dolce, Supreme KTV at Far East Shopping Centre, and Empress KTV at Tanglin Shopping Centre.

8 require oxygen supplementation; 1 in ICU

Over 62,000 cases in Singapore, or over 99 per cent of the total tally, have fully recovered from their infection.

As of Wednesday, 125 cases are currently warded in the hospital, most of whom are well and under observation. There are currently eight cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation, and one –aged above 60 and not vaccinated – in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Apart from the 36 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

"There is continuing evidence that vaccination helps to prevent serious disease when one gets infected. Over the last 28 days, 18 local cases required oxygen supplementation, were admitted to ICU, or passed away," said the MOH.

Of the 18 cases, 14 are unvaccinated, four are partially vaccinated and none are fully vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, 6.44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme. Some 4.05 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Of some 2.42 million who have completed the full vaccination regimen, 32,523 are individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and have received at least one dose while the remaining are those who have received two doses.

As per the MOH guidelines, recovered individuals – who are likely to have a strong immune response against COVID-19 within the first six months after their infection – are recommended to receive a single dose of vaccine to further boost their immunity against the disease.

Those who have received the Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine locally are not included in Singapore's national vaccination numbers. As of 3 July, 17,296 people here have received one dose of the Chinese-made vaccine.

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