Singapore

Club Dolce KTV lounge linked to new cluster being deep cleaned

Shopkeepers concerned as staff at three KTV outlets in three malls undergo testing for Covid-19

Deep cleaning was under way at one of three KTV lounges yesterday, after staff were called up for special testing operations.

The KTV lounges are linked to an emerging cluster involving several Vietnamese social hostesses.

Mr Darren Peh, the owner of Club Dolce at Balestier Point, told The Straits Times yesterday evening: "We are carrying out disinfection works today, and we have decided to remain closed until all the workers are confirmed to be negative for Covid-19."

Mr Peh, who took over ownership of Club Dolce about two years ago, had earlier said that his club will continue with its normal operations.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is investigating Covid-19 infections among a group of Vietnamese social hostesses who had frequented KTV lounges or clubs now operating as food and beverage outlets.

EMERGING

The ministry said yesterday that of the 19 new cases of locally transmitted infections it has confirmed, eight belong to the emerging KTV cluster.

Balestier Point is a mixed-use development with both retail outlets and residential units.

Shopkeepers and residents said they noticed the KTV lounge reopening two weeks ago. A notice at the entrance indicated that renovation works had been carried out between June 4 and July 1.

Mr Eric Tan, the managing agent for Balestier Point, said he is concerned for the health of the building's tenants and residents.

The 71-year-old told ST he has asked the cleaners to thoroughly disinfect common touch-points, such as railings, lift buttons and door handles.

The other two KTV outlets identified by MOH are Supreme KTV at Far East Shopping Centre and Empress KTV at Tanglin Shopping Centre. The doors to both were closed when ST visited yesterday afternoon.

The KTV lounges appear to be staffed by the same people, shopkeepers said.

Shopkeepers at Far East Shopping Centre said most shops are closed by 8pm daily, but Supreme KTV was known to operate till late.

They said women who appeared to be lounge hostesses would often turn up at around 6pm.

They would enter the KTV lounge at the basement without going through the mall.

Elderly shopkeepers who spoke to ST said they are worried after hearing news of the cluster and will take the Covid-19 test if requested by MOH.

Shopkeepers at Tanglin Shopping Centre said Empress KTV resumed operations only on July 1, after renovation works were carried out.

The KTV lounge is next to enrichment centre Math Vision, Its head of department, Mr Vinayak More, 42, said he has seen young women turning up at the KTV.

"The KTV was closed for a long time, and only very recently restarted its operations," he added.

"There are safe distancing ambassadors that come here about four times daily, but because the KTV opens later in the evening, there are no ambassadors around by then."

He added that the centre has been disinfecting its common areas regularly.

A manager of a restaurant in the mall said the KTV does not have a kitchen and had been ordering food to be delivered there ever since it reopened.

"I know that the women working there also work at the other KTV at Far East Shopping Centre, because I have seen the same group of them there when I go past on the way home," he said.

"They would all be mingling in groups, and I think they are a mix of Vietnamese and Thai nationals."

Deep cleaning operations at Tanglin Shopping Centre started at 4.30pm yesterday.

The cleaning staff cleaned only the mall areas and did not enter the Empress KTV premises.

FOR MORE, SEE Singapore sees 19 local cases, including eight linked to KTV cluster AND READ THE STRAITS TIMES


Free Covid-19 tests for all who interacted with Vietnamese hostesses

The Ministry of Health has urged everyone who interacted with Vietnamese social hostesses from June 29 to last Monday to undergo free Covid-19 testing.

The free testing has also been extended to all who visited Supreme KTV at Far East Shopping Centre, Empress KTV at Tanglin Shopping Centre and Club Dolce at Balestier Point during the same period.

Those who have visited similar KTV lounges or clubs operating as food and beverage outlets in the same period are also eligible for the free tests.

All those who have interacted with Vietnamese social hostesses are advised to monitor their health closely and minimise their social interactions for 14 days.

They should see a doctor immediately if they feel unwell.

The list of testing venues and more details can be found at go.gov.sg/ktv-testing - THE STRAITS TIMES

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