Short-term visit pass holder from Vietnam is first Covid-19 case linked to KTV cluster

The patient went to a general practitioner clinic on July 11 with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection.
The patient went to a general practitioner clinic on July 11 with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection.PHOTOS: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The first case linked to the growing KTV cluster of Covid-19 infections is a short-term visit pass holder from Vietnam.

She went to a general practitioner clinic on July 11 with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection, Singapore's director of medical services Kenneth Mak said on Wednesday (July 14).

The patient was found to be positive for Covid-19 infection and was immediately admitted to hospital. Contact tracing and investigations later showed that she had frequented many KTV outlets, Associate Professor Mak said.

Further cases were discovered when contact tracing was done on her contacts and interactions, with some of them living in the same household as the Vietnamese national, Prof Mak added.

Short-term visitors with recent travel history to Vietnam have not been allowed to enter Singapore since February, when the Air Travel Pass for Vietnam was suspended.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that 42 new cases were linked to the KTV cluster on Wednesday, including a 40-year-old passenger on board a Dream Cruises ship.

Asked for more details on the index case, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the ministry would wait for the police to release more information.

"For MOH, we don't have all the information. Investigation in this case, of the short-term (visit pass holders) and what rules they might have contravened, I think we leave that to the police," he added.

Nine of the new cases linked to the KTV cluster on Wednesday were already in quarantine, with the rest of the cases detected through surveillance, Prof Mak said.

Short-term visits by foreigners to Singapore are currently allowed only for those travelling from countries or regions with low risk of Covid-19 importation.

Short-term travellers with travel history to only Brunei, mainland China and New Zealand within the last 21 days may seek entry into Singapore by applying for an Air Travel Pass.

They will undergo a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction test at the airport upon arrival in Singapore and may leave their self-isolation facilities only after they have been notified that they have tested negative for the coronavirus.