KTV Covid-19 cluster with 253 cases officially closed by MOH

The cluster was discovered on July 12 after ongoing transmission of Covid-19 was detected at (clockwise from left) Club De Zara, Club Dolce and WU Bistro. ST PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG, GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - The KTV Covid-19 cluster of 253 cases was officially closed last Wednesday (Sept 8) by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

A cluster is closed when there are no new cases for the last 28 days.

The KTV cluster was first discovered on July 12 and sparked investigations into KTV lounges or clubs that were operating as food and beverage (F&B) outlets, and cases surrounding Vietnamese social hostesses.

Speaking in Parliament on July 26, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that before the KTV cluster surfaced, the nation was on the path towards progressive opening, and the outbreak was a "major unexpected bump in the road".

Club De Zara in Textile Centre, Club Dolce in Balestier Point and WU Bistro in Golden Mile Complex were ordered to close on July 13 this year following suspected Covid-19 transmission.

MOH announced on July 16 that operations at all nightlife establishments that had pivoted to become F&B outlets would also be suspended until July 30. The closure affected more than 400 such businesses.

Establishments must pass inspections and receive a conditional permit from the Ministry of Trade and Industry before they can resume operations.

The operator of Club De Zara was also fined $15,000 on Aug 18 this year for allowing its performers and freelance hostesses to mingle with patrons in 2019 without approval from the authorities.

Twenty foreign women were arrested on July 14 for suspected involvement in vice-related activities at the three KTV lounges.

Last Tuesday (Sept 7), Singapore's largest Covid-19 cluster in the community at Jurong Fishery Port was also declared closed in MOH's daily report.

The cluster, which was linked to infections at Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, had a total of 1,155 cases.

The virus spread to more than 30 wet markets and caused some to be shut temporarily, prompting major supermarket chains to ramp up their stocks.

Many customers rushed to wet markets after the two-week closure of Jurong Fishery Port was announced, fearing chilled seafood shortages.

The spike in Covid-19 cases at that time led to tightened measures, as Singapore returned to phase two (heightened alert) on July 22.

Restrictions were eased last month.

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