Jurong Fishery Port worker allegedly moonlighted at KTV after dark: Shin Min Daily News

The information came from interviewing port workers and not from the health ministry.

Belmont Lay | Fiona Tan | July 20, 2021, 04:47 AM

A piece of news making the rounds on social media and chat groups in Singapore, and almost treated as gospel, pertains to a purported direct Covid-19 link between the Jurong Fishery Port cluster and the KTV cluster -- Singapore's two largest active Covid-19 clusters now.

What is the news reported?

The news is about a woman who worked at the port in the day, and who continued moonlighting at night at the KTV lounge.

Which media reported the news?

The news was reported by Shin Min Daily News on July 18.

Their piece went as far as to claim that the woman is of Vietnamese origin.

How did the Chinese media get hold of this information?

The Chinese media reporters interviewed Jurong Fishery Port workers, who claimed that one of the confirmed cases there was a female employee who was suspected of being recruited part-time to work at a lounge.

The female employee was in charge of backend work at the port, Shin Min also reported.

Covid-19 case apparently appeared as early July 13

Shin Min were also told that there were murmurings that a Covid-19-positive case was already uncovered a few days ago on July 13.

There was a rumour then that one person had already tested positive.

A personnel working at the port said to Shin Min: "We were already worried then. Although the port was not closed at that time, I didn't know if it will become an infected group in the next few days, causing the port to be closed. I didn't expect it to become like this."

The infection from the port has spread to wet markets around Singapore, which also forced their temporary closure.

Fishmongers who visited the port had returned to their stalls at the wet markets, and while there, they mingled with other stallholders, who in turn mingled with customers, which provided multiple pathways for transmission.

Has any other media reported the same facts?

The Straits Times published a story on July 19 saying the same thing.

ST reported: "It is understood that a KTV hostess who recently tested positive for the virus had worked at the port."

However, ST did not report on the nationality of the port worker who allegedly moonlighted at the lounge.

It also did not reveal how it came to understand this piece of information is credible.

Did ST report other possible links between the port and KTV clusters?

ST went further by highlighting another possibility of Covid-19 transmission between the two clusters by mentioning it could have resulted from another source: The port workers who visited KTV lounges.

ST wrote: "Some workers there are also patrons of lounges."

Has this direct link between two clusters been established?

The short answer is: No.

Officially, any link between the Jurong Fishery Port cluster and the KTV cluster is still under investigation.

Health minister Ong Ye Kung only wrote on Facebook on July 19 that the link exists.

He wrote: "Both clusters are linked."

Whether the transmission is from the KTV to the port, or vice versa, has not been uncovered yet.

Ong added: "Our scientists are conducting the phylogenetic studies."

What can recipients of such news do at the moment?

Recipients of such speculative information can only wait for official confirmation, if any, provided by the Ministry of Health, when results of investigations are more conclusive.

Ong promised as much in his post.

Top photo via Thomas Allard/ Google Maps