Existing COVID-19 dine-in rules to remain despite 'potentially huge’ KTV lounge cluster: Ong Ye Kung
SINGAPORE: People can continue to dine in groups of up to five despite the "potentially ... huge" COVID-19 cluster involving KTV lounges, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Wednesday (Jul 14).
He said this at a media event where he announced that the cluster had grown to 53 cases, up from just 12 the day before. The cluster, which formed after the KTV lounges allegedly operated illegally, was first reported on Monday, the same day that Singapore eased COVID-19 restrictions.
Diners began gathering in groups of up to five on Monday, up from two previously. This came on the back of falling community cases.
On Wednesday, Mr Ong, who is co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministerial task force, said that the authorities thought “long and hard” about the eased restrictions.
“Given that we just started this on Monday and that we now have a much higher level of vaccination rate … We are in a much more resilient position than before,” he said.
He noted that more than 70 per cent of the population had taken one dose and more than 40 per cent had completed the vaccination regime under the national programme.
“There will not be any reversal, but I do want to urge everybody, don’t just because the rules allow you and we just go out and meet five people all the time,” he said.
READ: 41 new COVID-19 cases linked to KTV cluster; situation ‘troubling and disappointing’, says Ong Ye Kung
“Given the cases, because of the KTV cluster, potentially quite a huge cluster, exercise restraint, exercise caution, meet people only when you have to, meet with your family, the same old friends, if you can, and try not to circulate too much in the community.”
He said “we do have a fairly big cluster” growing from the KTV lounges. So far, more than 100 customers and close to 100 employees have been tested, he added.
Close interaction without a mask is “very high risk” Mr Ong said.
“Imagine KTV allowing singing, plus hostess services. This is out of the question, it has never been allowed, so whoever operated that way, is breaching the law. The police will take very firm action,” he said.