Cluster of 10 Omicron cases traced to River Valley bar; Singapore reports 448 confirmed infections so far

A colleague of an infected American traveller likely spread the coronavirus to others at The Vinyl Bar, the Ministry of Health said. — Google Maps pic via TODAY
A colleague of an infected American traveller likely spread the coronavirus to others at The Vinyl Bar, the Ministry of Health said. — Google Maps pic via TODAY

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SINGAPORE, Dec 26 — A cluster of 10 Covid-19 Omicron cases has been detected at a bar at River Valley Road, with the spread traced to an American traveller who arrived in Singapore via a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flight.

A colleague of his who got infected likely passed it to others at the bar, including a patron who subsequently spread it to household members.

All 10 cases linked to the cluster at The Vinyl Bar at 266 River Valley Road are fully vaccinated and have mild or no symptoms, said the Ministry of Health in a statement last night.

“MOH is ringfencing the cases through contact tracing,” it added.

The ministry also said that to date, there are 448 confirmed Omicron cases detected in Singapore, with 369 imported cases and 79 local cases.

The primary case in The Vinyl Bar cluster, Case 280860, had arrived in Singapore on Dec 14.

His on-arrival test was negative for Covid-19, but he tested positive for the disease on Dec 18.

MOH said that on Dec 15, he had met a colleague (Case 281477) who subsequently visited The Vinyl Bar (226 River Valley Road) on Dec 17.

“Our epidemiological investigations found that Case 281477 likely transmitted the virus to a staff of the bar (Case 281876) and three patrons (Cases 282091, 282143 and 282178) who were at the bar that evening,” said MOH.

Case 282091 then went on to infect four household members, it added.

Staff and visitors of the bar who are identified to be close contacts of the cases will be placed on quarantine.

As a precautionary measure, MOH will contact other staff and visitors to the bar at the same time as Case 281477 on Dec 17 for a one-time targeted polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

The ministry also advised all visitors to The Vinyl Bar to monitor their health closely, and minimise social interactions as far as possible, for 14 days from their date of visit.

They should see a doctor immediately if they feel unwell.

MOH noted that there has been an uptick in Omicron cases in Singapore because of the rapid spread of the variant across many countries and regions.

“Given its high transmissibility, it is a matter of time before the Omicron variant spreads in our community,” said MOH.

“It is important for everyone to continue to play their part and remain vigilant to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, and to come forward to receive your vaccination or booster dose when offered.” — TODAY

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