Coronavirus case linked to gyms Boulder+Climbing and Climb Central

Boulder+Climbing and Climb Central announced on their respective social media pages that a climber who visited their premises has contracted the disease. PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO, JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Two climbing gyms have been affected by Covid-19, with Boulder+Climbing and Climb Central announcing on their social media pages that a climber who visited their premises has contracted the disease.

Three cases have since been reported at Boulder+Climbing, and one case at Climb Central.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a daily virus update on Sunday (March 8) that Case 142, a 26-year-old Singaporean man, had visited Aperia Mall prior to his hospital admission.

He is linked to the Safra Jurong cluster and was at Boulder+Climbing - he and the two others were there on March 5 - and MOH said yesterday that they are a subset of the Safra cluster. One of the two cases had visited Funan Mall, according to MOH.

The gym, located at The Aperia Mall in Kallang, said on its Facebook page that it is "ceasing operations for the time being".

Climb Central, which has outlets at Kallang Wave Mall, Funan Mall and Novena Square, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that a climber who visited its Funan branch on Sunday has been confirmed with the disease.

The gym said that contact tracing is under way, and that it would close from 8am to 2pm in the next few days to clean and disinfect its facilities. Its Funan outlet was closed on Wednesday, while the Kallang Wave and Novena Square ones will shut between those hours on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Both gyms urged their users to exercise social responsibility and cooperate with MOH.

Other climbing gyms such as Boulder Movement have stepped up cleaning and sanitisation at their premises.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, a Boulder Movement spokesman said the gym has implemented additional cleaning and sanitising schedules and increased the frequency of spot cleaning to ensure that its shared spaces are disinfected after busy periods. The gym, located at OUE Downtown Gallery, is also tracking visitors' attendance and enquiring about their health status and travel histories before admitting them.

The Singapore Mountaineering Federation (SMF), which governs the sport here, on Tuesday issued an advisory on its Facebook page with similar guidelines.

SMF secretary Rasip Isnin told The Straits Times those guidelines are in accordance to those stipulated by the MOH, but with "climb-specific" tips such as urging climbers to avoid gym-hopping so as to prevent cases from crossing clusters.

"Climbers want to try different routes as different gyms offer different configurations, so we advise climbers to try to stick to one gym so it's easier for monitoring purposes," he said.

The national team were due to start training at the end of last month for the Asian Championships, scheduled to take place in China in May, but that is now on hold as the event has been postponed.

Mr Rasip added: "We're also doing the same as what other organisations are, and Sport Singapore has given some guidelines on the do's and don'ts for national sports associations and this is how we advise our athletes."

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