If you've visited any KTV lounges or interacted with any hostesses in the past 14 days since June 29, come forward and get yourself tested for Covid-19.
This was the message that Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung had during a media doorstop on Wednesday, July 14, which announced a new cluster surrounding KTV outlets.
Critical to get tested if you've visited KTV lounges in the past 14 days
The first case reported from the cluster visited the GP clinic on July 11 with acute respiratory infection symptoms. The patient is a short-term visitor pass holder from Vietnam who had frequented many KTV outlets.
He added that the list of screening centres where individuals can get tested for Covid-19 is easily searchable on Google with a search of the keywords "KTV testing".
"The entire testing process is confidential, and your privacy is protected, so get yourself tested," he added.
For those who might have concerns about possible enforcement actions taken against them, he assured them by saying the police will take actions against the KTV lounges and hostesses, adding that the top priority for the Ministry of Health now is for people to come forward and get tested.
He added that over 100 people, including staff and customers of the lounges, have already got themselves tested the day before and he thanked them for doing so.
"Protect your family and your loved ones, and protect your community as well," he said.
As for those who might be uncomfortable to come forward and get tested, for whatever reason, he urged them to stay at home at the very least, isolate themselves from their family members, test themselves using Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-test kits, as well as to monitor their health for the next 14 days.
Delta variant a lot more transmissible
Ong added that while it's "very troubling and disappointing" that a new cluster has popped up, the ministry is "not entirely surprised" about it, adding that clusters have appeared over the past weeks, such as the Changi cluster and the Bukit Merah cluster.
This is due to the nature of the Delta variant, which is "a lot more transmissible".
As long as there are "embers" of infection in the community, more cases are going to pop up, and it's going to be "a pattern that we need to manage", he said.
He added that while the government will continue with their efforts in contact tracing, as well as to test people and quarantine them as much as they can, they will need cooperation on everyone's part to get vaccinated.
He further said every resident living in Singapore can now get themselves vaccinated, adding that they don't have to wait as there's no queue.
Important to get vaccinated, especially for seniors
Ong emphasised the importance of getting vaccinated as well, especially for the elderly people.
He said about 29 per cent of seniors above 70 years old still haven't gotten vaccinated, and urged them to do so.
"You may think that you don't go out, so you're safe, but the Delta variant is not like that, it will find you even though you're staying at home," he said, adding that most cases nowadays are infections that occur at home.
Addressing concerns that the elderly might have due to their poor health, he said he understands such worries, but added that any vaccine, not just Covid-19 vaccines, have "a little bit of risk and a bit of side effects.
These side effects, however, are likely to be mild, he said, adding that only for very few and rare cases that more adverse side effects might occur.
Top image adapted via Google Maps/Supreme KTV