SINGAPORE - Irish singer Ronan Keating has apologised for an Instagram post that mistakenly claimed that dozens of cargo ships were denied entry into Singapore because of the coronavirus outbreak.
On Monday (March 2), the 43-year-old posted on Instagram a photo of Singapore's port with about two dozen ship, which he claimed were being held and unable to dock.
The post was taken down by Tuesday.
Later on Tuesday, Keating reposted the same photo and said: "I recently posted this (picture) after being told by a local in Singapore that the reason they were all parked up was due to the virus. I have been recently informed that this is not true and that this is how the harbour always looks."
He added: "I apologise if I offended anyone in my post; you all know I would never purposefully do that."
But he also chided those who criticised his earlier Instagram post: "To all you haters out there, get on with your short life."
Keating said he performed in Singapore and Jakarta when other performers had cancelled their concerts. "I feel very blessed to be able to do what I do."
His apology on Tuesday came after the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Monday debunked his claims, clarifying that no cargo ships have been turned away from the Republic's port because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The authority said on its Instagram account that ships arrive or leave Singapore every two to three minutes and there can be about 1,000 ships at the port at any one time.
MPA also added that it has taken enhanced precautions and that it is "working round the clock to ensure that it is business as usual".
"#WeCouldntSayNothingAtAll," MPA added in its post, referring to Keating's hit song When You Say Nothing At All.
Keating rose to fame in the 1990s as a member of boy band Boyzone and has more than 330,000 followers on Instagram.