60 new local COVID-19 infections as KTV cluster grows to 148

·Editorial Team
·5-min read
A nurse at StarMed Specialist Centre administers the Sinovac vaccine in Singapore.
A nurse at StarMed Specialist Centre administers the Sinovac vaccine in Singapore. (PHOTO: Reuters/Caroline Chia)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (17 July) confirmed 68 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 62,981.

Of them, 60 are local cases, including 29 – out of 58 linked infections – who belong to a fast-growing KTV lounges/clubs cluster. Two cases are currently unlinked.

The cluster is now linked to 148 cases, making it the biggest active cluster here as well as the largest recorded cluster in the community to date. The previous largest recorded cluster in the community was at Changi Airport Terminal 3, linked to 108 cases, which was announced to be closed almost one month ago.

The remaining eight cases are imported, of whom one was detected upon their arrival here while seven developed the illness during their stay-home notice or isolation period.

Saturday marks the seventh day in a row where new local infections are reported.

This comes three days after authorities announced 56 new COVID-19 community cases – the majority of whom were added to the KTV cluster – the highest number of such cases reported daily since 8 April last year.

Among those included in the KTV cluster is a 40-year-old passenger on board a Dream Cruises ship, which turned back three days after it set off from Singapore – on a cruise to nowhere – following the discovery.

The first reported case in the cluster was a Vietnamese hostess on a short-term visit pass to Singapore and who had been to many of the KTV outlets.

Three new clusters; total 29 active clusters

The three new clusters announced by the MOH on Saturday are the Case 64782, Case 64850 and PSC Express Pte Ltd – according to its website, PSC Express is a company that provides "express sea cargo operations" between Singapore and Batam – clusters. There are three cases in each of the new clusters. The MOH did not provide any details on Case 64782 and Case 64850, and cases linked to the infection or the two new clusters.

In total, there are currently 29 active clusters, which have between three and 148 infections.

The Case 64263 cluster has been closed, the ministry said, as there have been no more cases linked to it for the past two incubation periods, or 28 days. 

Overall, the MOH noted, the number of new cases in the community has increased from 17 cases in the week before to 239 cases in the past week. "We are likely to see rising cases in the coming days as we step up efforts to detect them to contain their spread in the community," it said. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from eight cases in the week before to 22 cases in the past week. 

The 7-day moving average number of all linked community cases and all unlinked community cases are 31.0 and 3.1 respectively.

Six more KTV lounges/clubs with likely ongoing transmission

The MOH's epidemiological investigations have found that there is likely ongoing transmission at the following KTV lounges/clubs: 

  • Quinn KTV (207A Syed Alwi Road)

  • Club AURA (442 Orchard Road)

  • Club Ion (271 Bukit Timah Road)

  • Icon II (35 Selegie Road)

  • Club Lucky Thai (5001 Beach Road)

  • M. Sakhon (5001 Beach Road)

This brings the total of such premises where there is likely ongoing transmission to 15. 

"All visitors to the affected premises are advised to monitor their health closely, and minimise social interactions as far as possible, for 14 days from their date of visit or interaction. They are encouraged to see a doctor immediately if they feel unwell," the ministry said. 

Among those included in the KTV cluster is a 40-year-old passenger on board a Dream Cruises ship, which turned back three days after it set off from Singapore – on a cruise to nowhere – following the discovery.

The first reported case in the cluster was a Vietnamese hostess on a short-term visit pass to Singapore and who had been to many of the KTV outlets.

5 require oxygen supplementation; 1 in ICU

Over 62,000 cases in Singapore, or over 99 per cent of the total tally, have fully recovered from their infection.

As of Saturday, 196 cases are currently warded in the hospital, most of whom are well and under observation. There are currently five cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation, and they are all unvaccinated. One case – aged above 60 and unvaccinated – is in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Apart from the 36 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Over the last 28 days, 14 local cases required oxygen supplementation, were admitted to the ICU, or passed away. Of them, 10 are unvaccinated, four are partially vaccinated and none are fully vaccinated.

As of Thursday, 6.57 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme. Some 4.1 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Of some 2.55 million who have completed the full vaccination regimen, 71,877 are individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and have received at least one dose while the remaining are those who have received two doses.

As per the MOH guidelines, recovered individuals – who are likely to have a strong immune response against COVID-19 within the first six months after their infection – are recommended to receive a single dose of vaccine to further boost their immunity against the disease.

Those who have received the Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine locally are not included in Singapore's national vaccination numbers. As of 3 July, 17,296 people here have received one dose of the Chinese-made vaccine.

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