The recent emergence of the 42 new COVID-19 cases linked to the KTV lounge cluster has resulted in growing frustration among Singaporeans who have tried hard to abide by social distancing rules and endured heightened restrictions. To lighten up the mood, Netflix Singapore created a meme that perfectly depicts how most people feel right now about the sudden rise in cases.
In an Instagram post, Netflix Singapore took a scene from teen drama "Never Have I Ever" which showed the appalled mum, Nalini, staring at her daughter Devi who was passionately kissing her love interest named Paxton. The caption below the mum was "Me looking at the spike in daily cases" while the caption below the couple was "People visiting KTV lounges".
Netflix said: "I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed," echoing the sentiments of health minister Ong Ye Kung and finance minister Lawrence Wong who have both expressed their frustration and disappointment following the emergence of the cluster. On 14 July, Ong described the new cluster as "very troubling and disappointing", multiple media outlets including Channel NewsAsia said.
Ong said it has knowledge of similar cases happening in South Korea and Hong Kong, where individuals gather close together in the nightlife scene, resulting in big clusters. Hence, the government banned such activities for more than a year, including hostess services and dice games which all require close contact, CNA said. Therefore, for this cluster to now happen is troubling and disappointing, he said. Cases linked to the KTV lounges were first announced on 12 July when the Ministry of Health reported that the infections concerned Vietnamese social hostesses who frequently patronised outlets currently operating as F&B outlets.
On 14 July, 56 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were reported, of which 42 were from the KTV lounge clusters, CNA said. Later that day, it was reported that three KTV operators are currently being investigated for reportedly offering hostessing services while 20 women have been arrested. On 15 July, 42 new cases were reported and 34 belonged to the KTV cluster. Just today on 16 July, 53 new cases were reported, of which 32 are linked to the KTV cluster, TODAY Online said.
Separately, Wong said in a recent Facebook post that he knows many are feeling disappointed and frustrated about the recent COVID-19 cases at KTVs. "I feel the same," he said, adding that cases such as these demonstrate how, in times of crisis, personal responsibility matters. "No man is an island. The choices we make for ourselves are the choices we make for our community," he added.
Despite the cluster, Ong said diners can still gather in groups of up to five. The number was increased from two to five on Monday after Singapore witnessed a decrease in community cases. The country went into phase two heightened alert from 16 May to 13 June after several clusters emerged. Group sizes were limited to two individuals and work from home became a default, among other measures. Also, only two unique household visitors were allowed per day.