Singapore's KTV cluster grows to 120 COVID cases – largest recorded in community

·Editorial Team
·5-min read
(PHOTO: Club De Zara 东门俱乐部/Facebook)
Club De Zara is one of nine KTV lounges, as of 15 July, 2021, ordered to close for two weeks due to the 'likely ongoing transmission' of COVID-19 at their premises. (PHOTO: Club De Zara 东门俱乐部/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (16 July) confirmed 61 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 62,913.

Of them, 53 are local cases in the community, including 32 – out of 48 linked infections – who belong to a fast-growing KTV lounges/clubs cluster.

The cluster is now linked to 120 cases, making it the biggest active cluster here as well as the largest recorded cluster in the community to date. 

The previous largest recorded cluster in the community was at Changi Airport Terminal 3, linked to 108 cases, which was announced to be closed almost one month ago.

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

Friday marks the sixth day in a row where new local infections are reported.

Two new clusters at port, market, and hotpot eatery; 27 in total

Two new clusters have been identified at Jurong Fishery Port/Hong Lim Market & Food Centre and Khoi Grill & Hotpot at 283 Jalan Besar, linked to seven cases each, the majority of whom were added on Friday. 

This brings the total number of active COVID-19 clusters in Singapore to 27.

The MOH said that it is investigating cases of COVID-19 among those who worked at or visited the places associated with the two new clusters. 

Both Hong Lim Market & Food Centre and Jurong Fishery Port will be closed to all visitors from Saturday to 31 July, while Khoi Grill & Hotpot has been closed to all patrons from Friday to 30 July.

Mandatory COVID-19 testing will be conducted for all visitors to the port between 3 July and Friday, with free testing extended to those who visited the market between 2 July and Friday. Meanwhile, all individuals who work in or visited the hotpot restaurant have been placed on quarantine and will be tested for COVID-19.

Separately, three new community cases were also added to the "Case 64697" cluster, now linked to 17 cases. The MOH did not provide any details on case 64697 and cases linked to the infection or the two new clusters.

The ministry also noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from 21 in the week before to 179 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from nine in the week before to 20 in the past week. 

It added that the seven-day moving average number of all linked community cases and all unlinked community cases are 22.7 and 2.9 respectively.

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9 KTV lounges closed due to growing cluster

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.

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 visit pass to Singapore and who had been to many of the KTV outlets.

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 Friday, 184 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 unvaccinated – 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 Thursday, 6.57 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme. Some 4.1 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Of some 2.55 million who have completed the full vaccination regimen, 71,877 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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