SINGAPORE — Amid an increase in locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in recent days linked to KTV lounges/clubs that were operating as food & beverage (F&B) outlets and social hostesses, a slew of listings offering alibis for affected patrons have come up online.
On online marketplace Carousell, there were five such listings as of 7pm on Thursday evening (July 15). Prices for the "service" ranged from $100 to $500.
However, the platform removed these listings shortly after. Several news outlets had reported on the listings.
In one listing, a seller wrote, "I will be your alibi to speak to your wife or gf that you are with me and not the Ktv during the crucial period. we will go deep into small details so we can be convincing."
Another seller wrote, "I’m a (sic) interior contractor so I can have many options to help you such as discussing renovations plans or recommendation of jobs for commissions or need help with some engineering design works. I can produce documents of drawings to convince."
The fast-growing KTV lounges/clubs cluster is now linked to 87 cases, including 33 announced on Thursday, making it the second biggest active cluster here after 115 Bukit Merah View market, which has 94 cases.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung told reporters the police will take action against lounges and hostesses who might have contravened COVID-19 rules.
"While this is disappointing, we are not entirely surprised that clusters like these will pop up. Over the past weeks, we saw the Changi cluster, Bukit Merah cluster, and now the KTV cluster," he said.
"This is the nature of the Delta variant. It’s a lot more transmissible and so long as there are embers in the community, it is likely to pop up and infect many more people," he added.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday first said that it was investigating cases of COVID-19 infection among Vietnamese social hostesses who had frequented KTV lounges or clubs currently operating as F&B outlets, and their close social contacts.
MOH named three such establishments: Supreme KTV at Far East Shopping Centre, Empress KTV at Tanglin Shopping Centre and Club Dolce at Balestier Point.
On Tuesday, it identified two more such establishments: WU Bistro at Golden Mile Complex and Club De Zara at Textile Centre.
Then on Wednesday, another four more venues were named: One Exclusive at 114 Middle Road, Level 9 (L9) at 114 Middle Road, Terminal 10 at Clarke Quay and Club M at 114 Middle Road.
Of these, seven were ordered to close for 15 days: One Exclusive, Level 9 (L9), Terminal 10, Club M, Club Dolce, WU Bistro, and Club De Zara.
MOH said on Wednesday it is extending free COVID-19 testing to patrons of these outlets or other similar KTV lounges or clubs, or those who have interacted with social hostesses of any nationality in any setting between 29 June and 14 July.
They can refer to https://go.gov.sg/ktv-testing for details on the testing operations.
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