Singapore’s Ministry of Health is taking a four-ring approach to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the light of the growing KTV cluster, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Friday (July 16).
There are currently 120 cases linked to the cluster, with the index case testing positive for the coronavirus which causes Covid-19 on July 11.
Ring 1: Staff and patrons of the affected KTV joints who were identified from SafeEntry and TraceTogether data.
• These 2,480 individuals have all been placed under quarantine. Some have tested positive.
• They will be tested multiple times during quarantine.
Ring 2: Staff and patrons who could not be identified as the TraceTogether and SafeEntry data was not comprehensive for the affected KTV joints.
• The call went out on July 13 to patrons, especially those who visited these joints or came into contact with social hostesses in any setting, to get themselves tested.
• On July 13, 160 people were tested, with 17 found to be Covid-19 positive.
• Some 501 were tested the next day, and eight positive cases were confirmed.
• On July 15, 1,003 people came forward. None tested positive.
Ring 3: Members of the public who came into contact with confirmed cases and detected via TraceTogether.
• The Ministry of Health (MOH) has issued or will issue a health risk warning via SMS.
• These individuals will be required under the law to get tested at a designated testing centre and self-isolate until they receive a negative result from their first polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
• Even if they test negative, MOH said, they could still be incubating the virus. They have to limit their interactions with others as an added precaution for 14 days from their last exposure and undertake only essential activities during this period.
• These individuals will also be issued with self-test antigen rapid test (ART) kits when they do their first PCR test. They will be required to self-administer an ART test on the seventh day from the last exposure to confirm that they are not infected.
• They will also be required to undergo another PCR test at designated testing centres around the 14th day from their date of last known exposure for assurance that they are not incubating the virus.
• About 2,000 people fall into this category. These individuals may not have gone to the KTV lounges but could have come into contact with a confirmed case anywhere.
Ring 4: Individuals who have visited the locations where the affected nightlife establishments are located, or other similar establishments flagged by the Singapore Police Force.
• MOH has issued or will issue a health risk alert via SMS.
• Unlike a health risk warning, these individuals are not subject to any actions required by the law. However, they should monitor their health and limit their interactions with others for 14 days from their last exposure as an added precaution.
• They are encouraged to also purchase self-test ART kits from retail pharmacies and do self-tests regularly over the 14 days.
• There could be several thousand people in this group, said Mr Ong.
Author: Jolene Ang
Publication: The Straits Times
Title: MOH to take 4-ring approach to contain Covid-19 spread from KTV cluster