KTV Cluster Index Case Entered Singapore Via Familial Ties Lane
Since the KTV Covid-19 cluster emerged earlier this week, the authorities have conducted investigations into the legality of the activities at these entertainment venues.
On Friday (16 Jul), the authorities released a statement revealing that the index case of the cluster, a Vietnamese lady, had entered Singapore via her boyfriend’s sponsorship.
They also warned that Short-Term Visit Pass holders are not allowed to take on any jobs during their stay, or risk getting deported.
1st KTV cluster case arrived in Singapore in Feb 2021
In a joint release on Friday (16 Jul), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) shared that the first case in the KTV cluster had arrived here in Feb 2021.
She reportedly did so via the Familial Ties Lane, under the sponsorship of her Singaporean boyfriend.
The Familial Ties Lane allows foreigners with “intimate ties” in Singapore to enter.
A frequent visitor of KTV lounges and nightclubs, the lady’s many close contacts subsequently tested positive.
The ICA and MOM did not share specifically if the authorities will be taking any actions against her. However, they issued a stern warning to all Short-Term Pass holders,
Short-term visitors cannot engage in any form of employment (paid or unpaid), or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore.
Those found guilty of doing so may face prosecution, deportation, and even a ban from re-entering Singapore.
Short-Term Pass holder in KTV cluster had passes extended
ICA and MOM also gave a breakdown of the 30 non-Singaporeans linked to the cluster. The following are their residential or visitation statuses:
- 2 Permanent Residents
- 14 Work Pass holders
- 1 Student’s Pass holder
- 5 Long-Term Visit Pass holders
- 8 Short-Term Visit Pass holders
Even though the index case arrived just this year, 2 of the Short-Term Pass holders had apparently entered Singapore even before Mar 2020.
Some might naturally question the relatively long duration that they’ve stayed in Singapore, which contradicts with the passes they’re holding.
In response, ICA clarified that all 8 Short-Term Visit Pass holders had extended their passes, allowing them to remain in Singapore.
Such extensions are subject to case-by-case evaluations. Factors such as flight availability and family ties in Singapore are taken into account.
Police to step up enforcement actions
The police are still investigating if any members of the clusters had participated in illegal activities.
They’re also looking into the KTV outlets, pivoted as F&B establishments, that were visited by positive cases.
Moving forward, the police and other agencies will also be stepping up enforcement actions against KTV outlets found breaching safe management measures (SMMs).
Hope authorities can ringfence cluster soon
The KTV cluster is indeed concerning given how fast it’s growing.
As worrying as it is, perhaps this serves as a good reminder for everyone to adhere strictly to health and safety rules.
While the focus now ought to be on the ringfencing of the cluster, we hope the authorities will conduct a thorough investigation into the individuals involved and dish out punishments where necessary.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook, for illustration purposes only.
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