More enforcement action against errant joints in Singapore as KTV Covid-19 cluster grows

The Government will enforce regulations and take firm action against anyone who breaches the rules, said Minister Lawrence Wong. PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

SINGAPORE - Enforcement agencies have been hard at work to bust establishments that continue to flout Covid-19 safe management measures and protect Singapore, but some of these joints have been playing a "cat and mouse" game.

On Friday (July 16), Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19, said the Government will enforce regulations and take firm action against anyone who breaches the rules.

"I assure you the enforcement agencies are stretched, they are working around the clock pursuing every lead that they receive, but the illegal activities have not stopped.

"They continue and we will continue to do our part as best as we can to go out with all the enforcement efforts," said Mr Wong.

He was asked if more enforcement action could have been taken to prevent the KTV outlets and nightclubs cluster, which has grown to 120 cases as at Friday.

Mr Wong said enforcement action is not just focused on places like KTV outlets and nightclubs. Illegal gatherings have also taken place in hotels, homes, restaurants and warehouses.

Asked if more enforcement officers will be hired to ensure continued adherence to safe management measures, Mr Wong said that enforcement agencies are already beefed up by safe distancing ambassadors.

These ambassadors are a first line of detection, he said, after which enforcement agencies can step in to take action.

"But you can appreciate that each time you do an enforcement check, there is a little bit of cat and mouse going on, because the enforcement officers come in... the people who are breaking the rules will be on the lookout, they see someone coming in and then they may start to adjust, and respond accordingly," said Mr Wong.

He added that catching those who have broken the rules requires a variety of approaches.

While the agencies will continue to enforce the rules, Mr Wong said, everyone in Singapore has to do their part and not break the rules. Otherwise, it will be a never-ending spiral.

"Enforcement agencies have to keep on doing more, and then more bad behaviour, and we keep on doing more and it never stops," Mr Wong added, noting that one single irresponsible act can have a "devastating impact" for the entire community.

"Please do your part. And if you know of others who are breaking the rules, let us know."

Read next: What you need to know about the tightening of Covid-19 measures from July 19

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