S'pore launch of McDonald's BTS Meal delayed amid country's return to phase 2

McDonald's had said last month Singapore was one of nearly 50 countries where its outlets would have the celebrity meal on the menu. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Singapore launch of a celebrity meal by McDonald's, in partnership with popular K-pop group BTS, has been delayed amid the country's return to phase two after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The BTS Meal, which was scheduled to be sold from Thursday (May 27), will be launched on June 21 instead, said the fast-food chain in a Facebook post on Monday.

McDonald's had said last month that Singapore was one of nearly 50 countries where its outlets would have the celebrity meal on the menu beginning this week. The last launch date is on June 25, in Indonesia.

The earlier launch dates appear to be unaffected elsewhere, with countries such as Malaysia still promoting the event on social media.

Dr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases specialist from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, said the launch could attract large crowds of fans, some of whom may be unvaccinated.

He added that the B1617 coronavirus strain could be a concern.

"The B1617 strain is more infectious with kids than previous strains and the launch could encourage the gathering of people, which may fuel the fire of Covid-19 transmission. Children may bring the virus home, spread it to their family and the chain goes on," he said.

Last June, the authorities discouraged retail and food and beverage establishments from providing special discounts for reopening for at least two weeks from the start of phase two.

This was to avoid the potential to attract crowds, they had said.

The seven-member boy band, which debuted in 2013, was last in Singapore in 2019 to hold a concert. Tickets were sold out in less than four hours after going on sale in October 2018.

Fans also queued overnight at the OCBC Arena a day before the concert to be among the first to get their hands on BTS merchandise when the merchandise booth opened at 9am on the concert day.

The BTS Meal consists of Chicken McNuggets, fries, a drink, as well as sweet chilli and cajun dipping sauces inspired by popular recipes from the South Korean unit of McDonald's.

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