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16 Jul, 2021 11:49

Nightlife venues closed and Covid-19 restrictions back in place as Singapore identifies karaoke cluster

Nightlife venues closed and Covid-19 restrictions back in place as Singapore identifies karaoke cluster

The Singaporean government has said it will reintroduce strict Covid-19 measures to slow the spread of the virus despite having the highest rate of vaccinations in the southeast Asian region.

Speaking on Friday, Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong described the decision to reinforce Covid-19 restrictions as “a major setback” and said he understood that many would be disappointed.

“We must respond to this emerging cluster quickly, especially to protect those who have not yet been vaccinated completely,” he stated, justifying the government’s move.

In a statement of Friday, the health ministry said that the isolation of new clusters, linked with karaoke outlets, would delay the reopening of the economy but claimed the nation would be in a strong position, due to high vaccination rates, once the cluster is contained. 

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The new measures are seeing hundreds of nightlife venues temporarily close, as well as the reinforcement of strict measures for dining-in, just days after the government elected to relax restrictions.

The government said that the majority of the 56 infections recorded on Wednesday were linked to the city’s karaoke venues, where customers and hostesses often interact with each other. The figure is the highest recorded in Singapore for 10 months; 41 of the cases were deemed to be linked to karaoke outlets. 

People who had visited the karaoke lounges Supreme KTV, Empress KTV and Club Dolce were urged to come forward for free testing. At the end of the last week, around 69% of Singapore's 5.7 million residents had received at least one of their two Covid-19 jabs. 

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