'Not enough information to deem church cluster a super spreader event': Minister of Health Gan Kim Yong

It could also have been multiple individuals who unwittingly spread the virus.

Andrew Koay| February 14, 07:15 PM

The Ministry of Health does not have enough information to declare the Grace Assembly of God church cluster a super spreader event, said Minister of Health Gan Kim Yong.

Speaking at a press conference on Feb. 14, Gan responded to a query regarding the possibility of a super spreader causing the increasing number of cases being linked to a local church in Singapore.

Gan said:

"Epidemiological studies and contact tracing still continues with respect to the cluster involving members of Grace Assembly of God church. At this time we do not have enough information to identify a clear individual as being a super spreader or to suspect that this is indeed the case."

Gan said that it was also a possibility that instead of one super spreader, multiple individuals could spread the virus within the church's congregants.

What is a super spreader?

CNBC defined a super spreader as an individual who disproportionately passes the virus to a large number of people.

The exact criteria for super spreaders vary between viruses and their usual infection rate.

In the SARS epidemic of 2003, an individual who directly passed the virus to 10 or more people was considered a super spreader.

The World Health Organisation commissioned book SARS: how a global epidemic was stopped wrote that in Singapore, five super spreaders were responsible for 103 of the island nation's cases.

According to The Washington Post, a British man has been identified as a possible super spreader after he contracted Covid-19 while in Singapore.

He is believed to have unwittingly spread the virus to at least 11 other people while travelling between Singapore, France, and Switzerland.

Top image by Lauren Choo and via Google Maps