SINGAPORE - A total of 42 new Covid-19 cases are tied to a growing cluster linked to KTV outlets and nightclubs here.
They include a 40-year-old passenger on board a Dream Cruises ship, who was initially identified as a close contact of a positive case, said Singapore's director of medical services Kenneth Mak on Wednesday (July 14).
Forty-one new cases linked to the KTV cluster were announced on Wednesday afternoon. Following epidemiological investigations, the Ministry of Health added one more new case to the cluster in its night update.
The index case, a Vietnamese woman on a short-term visit pass, had gone to a doctor on Sunday with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection.
She was tested and found to be positive, with other cases - including others living in the same house - detected through contact tracing. The woman had frequented many KTV outlets and nightclubs, Associate Professor Mak told reporters.
A total of 60 Covid-19 cases were reported on Wednesday, 56 of which were locally transmitted. Of the community cases, 17 were linked to previous cases and have already been placed under quarantine.
Another 33 were linked to previous cases and were detected through surveillance, while the last six are unlinked.
The inclusion of Wednesday’s new cases brings the size of the KTV lounge cluster to 54, making it one of Singapore’s largest active clusters.
On whether the latest cluster will affect Monday's easing of restrictions such as allowing five people to dine in instead of two, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said at a press conference: "We thought long and hard about it, and given that we just started this on Monday, and that we now have a much higher level of vaccination rate... there will not be any reversal."
He noted that Singapore is in a much more resilient position than before, with more than 70 per cent of the population having taken one dose of the vaccine and more than 40 per cent, two doses.
Mr Ong said it was disappointing that this had happened, but added that he was "not entirely surprised".
"This is the nature of the Delta variant," he said, adding that this variant is much more transmissible.
He urged those who have visited KTV lounges and interacted with hostesses to get tested, and added that the police will take action against the lounges and hostesses.