Of 48 new COVID cases in Singapore, 34 linked to KTV cluster

·Editorial Team
·6 min read
Clockwise of the KTV places that will be closed from 15 July to 29 July due to a growing COVID-19 cluster: Level 9, Terminal 10, One Exclusive, and Club M. (PHOTOS: LeveL9thsg, terminal10clarkequay, clubmsingapore, oneexclusivesg/Facebook pages)
Clockwise of the KTV places that will be closed from 15 July to 29 July due to a growing COVID-19 cluster: Level 9, Terminal 10, One Exclusive, and Club M. (PHOTOS: LeveL9thsg, terminal10clarkequay, clubmsingapore, oneexclusivesg/Facebook pages)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (15 July) confirmed 48 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 62,852.

Of them, 42 are local cases in the community, including 34 – out of 38 linked infections – who belong to a fast-growing KTV lounges/clubs cluster. 

It is now linked to 88 cases, making it the second-biggest active cluster here after 115 Bukit Merah View market, which is linked to 94 infections. There are 25 active COVID-19 clusters here.

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

Thursday marks the fifth day in a row where new local infections are reported.

Three of the new community cases have been added to the "Case 64697" cluster, now linked to 14 infections, while one of them was added to the "Case 64752" cluster, now linked to six cases. 

This comes a day after authorities announced 56 new COVID-19 community cases – the majority of whom were added to the KTV cluster – the highest number of such cases reported daily since 8 April last year.

Among those included in the KTV 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 first reported case in the cluster was a Vietnamese hostess on a short-term visitor pass to Singapore who had been to many of the KTV outlets.

2 more KTV lounges to close for 2 weeks

On Thursday, the MOH ordered two more KTV lounges – Tuberose KTV and Las Vegas KTV – to close for two weeks from Friday to 30 July due to "likely ongoing transmission" at their premises. They are located on the fifth and sixth floors, respectively, of Parklane Shopping Mall at 35 Selegie Road.

This brings the total number of KTV lounges ordered to close for two weeks in the recent days to nine

Free COVID-19 testing has been extended to members of the public who had visited the affected KTV outlets between 29 June and Thursday 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 Thursday.

Similar testing measures are in place for staff members and visitors of Club Dolce, Supreme KTV at Far East Shopping Centre, and Empress KTV at Tanglin Shopping Centre.

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

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Mandatory testing for 639 Rowell Rd residents; 12 cases detected

In a separate press release on Thursday, the MOH said that it is investigating "likely COVID-19 transmission" at 639 Rowell Road, where 12 COVID-19 cases have been detected across two households.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine linkages and the source of transmission, it added.

All residents at 639 Rowell Road will be required to be tested for COVID-19, except for those who have already tested negative for the infection from 11 July onwards. 

The testing operations will be conducted at the pavilion at 636 Veerasamy Road between 9am and 4pm on Friday

"In the event that a positive COVID-19 case is detected, the MOH will isolate the case, identify all close contacts, test and quarantine them to protect the community from further transmission," said the MOH.

The ministry will also conduct voluntary COVID-19 testing for visitors and those who have interacted with residents of 639 Rowell Road between 30 June and 14 July. This will be conducted by appointment only at designated regional screening centres from between 9am and 4pm on Friday and Saturday.

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7 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 Thursday, 180 cases are currently warded in the hospital, most of whom are well and under observation. There are currently seven 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.

Over the last 28 days, 17 local cases required oxygen supplementation, were admitted to the ICU, or passed away. Of them, 13 are unvaccinated, four are partially vaccinated and none are fully vaccinated.

As of Wednesday, 6.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme. Some 4.08 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Of 2.48 million who have completed the full vaccination regimen, 51,541 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.

The MOH also noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from 23 in the week before to 127 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from nine in the week before to 16 in the past week.

It added that the seven-day moving average number of all linked community cases and all unlinked community cases are 15.9 and 2.3 respectively.

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More Singapore stories:

COVID: 4 more KTV lounges in Singapore to be closed for 2 weeks

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