Singapore sees COVID-19 cases double overnight as testing ramps up

Spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Singapore
A woman wears a face mask at a shop in Little India district, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Singapore, April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters) - Singapore on Monday saw new local coronavirus cases almost double from the previous day to 163, the highest daily tally in 11 months, driven by clusters of infections linked to a fishery port and karaoke bars.

The rising cases has prompted the city-state to tighten some restrictions on social gatherings from Monday, just a week after easing them.

"We should continue to expect many reported cases in the coming days, and must be prepared to make adjustments or even take decisive actions to suppress the cases," Ong Ye Kung, the health minister, said on Facebook.

The health ministry said 106 of the cases were linked to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster and 19 to the KTV cluster.

Fishmongers across the city-state were being tested, adding to more than 5,000 staff, hostesses and patrons linked to the KTV outbreak, from which new cases were declining.

He said, genetically, the cases differ from the Delta variant found in previous recent outbreaks.

Though Singapore's daily new case numbers are only a fraction of those reported elsewhere in Southeast Asian, the rise will a setback for an Asian business hub eager to move on from the pandemic.

By Monday or Tuesday, half of Singapore's 5.7 million population would be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, Ong said.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Ed Davies, Martin Petty

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