COVID-19 has proven to be a killjoy in any and all circumstances:
Wish to have a large reunion with your family after lockdown measures have been relaxed ever-so-slightly?
Denied. Only 2 persons per table please, though we are now allowing five.
Want to let it loose and party the year end away to greet the New Year, in hopes that it will be a happier and more auspicious start?
Oh wait, that did happen in Singapore, where hundreds of people gathered in front of Riverside Point near Read Bridge, in front of seafood JUMBO Restaurant, Clarke Quay, to celebrate the New Year.
Worst still, the whole gathering had been captured in 4K and widely shared across social media, as if the local authorities couldn’t be alerted fast enough to a huge breach of COVID-19 safety protocols.
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I would ask what they were thinking, but I’m fairly certain that the entire crowd was intoxicated too, or at least high off the ambience, if that classic champagne bottle spray was anything to go by.
That’s one way to get yourself unmasked and exposed, literally and figuratively.
4 People Charged for Breaching COVID-19 Safety Measures
And well, the other shoe finally dropped.
According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (24 Jan), four individuals will be charged for allegedly attending the New Year’s Eve gathering at Clarke Quay, while another four people were fined in relation to the event.
The first four people were charged because they had allegedly breached “multiple” COVID-19 safe management measures. While unnamed, they are aged between 19 and 22.
The latter four were served Notices of Composition of S$1,000 each for breaching safe management measures.
“Further investigations into other individuals are ongoing, and enforcement actions will be taken against them if they are found to have breached any safety management measures, which are put in place to protect the public,” said URA.
In short, it probably means that more people will be handed notices too, especially given the problematic size of the crowd alone.
It’s a good thing that the URA won’t have to work as hard to track said individuals down, with the plethora of evidence floating online…
Shortly after the New Year’s gathering, the Multi-Ministry Task Force had also called the gathering at Clarke Quay “a potential superspreading event” in a Press Conference on 2 January 2022.
With the enhanced transmissibility of Omicron, oh, most definitely.
We ought to be thanking our lucky stars that we didn’t get the worst of circumstances.
Reinforcements for the Lunar New Year
To ensure that there will not be a repeat of such an event during the Lunar New Year, the URA has asserted that agencies will be ramping up their enforcement across the island-state.
“The authorities will not hesitate to take enforcement action against errant individuals and Food & Beverages premises,” said URA.
URA warns that Singapore is still in the middle of a pandemic with Omicron cases rising in numbers, which makes it doubly important that everyone is socially responsible and adheres to the prevailing safe management measures.
By doing so, it will help to lower the transmission risks and slow down the rate of community infections.
According to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) updates, the weekly infection growth rate has increased to 2.75%, which is a 0.5% increase from last week.
Due caution is seriously advised.
Therefore, fellow citizens, if you’re planning a huge party, it’s best to put a halt to your tracks now and bury all the evidence, or else Notices of Composition will be flying to take away all your angbao money that you’ve collected from your relatives.
That won’t just be a wet blanket to your plans, but it will burn a hole through your wallet too.
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