The Straits Times says

KTV cluster shows virus fight far from over

This week, Singapore marked its highest single-day spike in Covid-19 community cases since April last year, with the bulk of them arising from a cluster tied to several KTV outlets and hostesses. If not dealt with firmly, the outbreak here threatens to replicate the experience of South Korea and Hong Kong, where the easy proximity promoted by the nightlife scene led to large clusters. KTV lounges here were ordered closed more than a year ago, but were then allowed to pivot and apply to operate as food and beverage outlets earlier this year. Still, a number of them appear to have offered additional services with hostesses. The emergence now of a growing cluster is a disappointing step back that could delay the onset of a wider reopening of activities here given that several operators, and patrons, persisted with irresponsible behaviour.

That hurts the prospects of the entertainment industry and the health of society at large. Certainly, the KTV cluster is not the only one to have posed a threat. The recent emergence of the Changi and Bukit Merah clusters attests to the nature of the Delta variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which is extremely transmissible. Still, a distinction has to be made between places where people congregate in the course of their everyday lives and work, and places of entertainment which must observe stricter protocols. KTV lounges and operators who deliberately skirt the rules, engage hostesses and allow unfettered mixing among them and patrons, must face the full weight of the law for disregarding safe distancing and other rules.

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