Gym with suspected Omicron cases remains open with fewer users, some choosing to avoid exercising there, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Gym with suspected Omicron cases remains open with fewer users, some choosing to avoid exercising there

The Anytime Fitness outlet at Bukit Timah - Singapore first suspected Omicron cluster - has undergone a round of cleaning and remains open for business, but some gym goers are choosing not to return for fear of getting infected.

This comes after the Ministry of Health said early Tuesday (Dec 21) morning that two Covid-19 cases linked to the gym have tested preliminary positive for the Omicron variant. The test result of a third case is still pending.

In a post on Instagram, the gym at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre said it was alerted to the Covid-19 cases on Monday (Dec 20). It added that the premises will go through another round of cleaning, and that the cases had visited the gym at least five days ago.

The three fully vaccinated cases are two men, aged 21 and 24, and an 18-year-old Ngee Ann Polytechnic student. All have mild symptoms, and had visited the gym between Dec 15 and Dec 17.

A spokesman for the gym said the three cases were not part of any classes, and had been doing their own individual training at the gym. Gym goers are able to engage in strenuous exercises in gyms while unmasked.

Only two people were in the gym when The Straits Times visited around 10am on Tuesday. Staff were seen spraying and wiping down gym equipment with disinfectants.

While some gym users choose to continue using the gym, others will be staying away for the next few weeks.

One of them, who only wanted to be known as Mr Tan, did not know about the suspected Omicron cluster until he was approached by ST.

The sales manager, who visits the branch once a week, said he is worried and will be going to another branch for now.

Another gym user, who only wanted to be known as Mr Teo, said the last time he visited the gym was on Friday (Dec 17). Since then, he has been avoiding the outlet as he does not want to get infected.

Other gym goers were unperturbed by the Covid-19 situation there.

Mr Willy Darajat, who has been a member since 2019, said he is not too worried because he is fully vaccinated. The 30-year-old said it will not have much impact on his lifestyle, as Singapore heads towards an endemic stage of living with Covid-19.

Mr Yan Jing Kai, a student at Bukit Batok Secondary School, said he chose to visit the gym on Tuesday morning despite knowing about the cluster.

The 16-year-old also said he is not that worried, given that there have been other local cases here.

The mall was also quiet on Tuesday morning, with some tenants worried about how their businesses would be impacted with the news.

A cafe owner who wanted to be known only as Mr Liu said he is concerned that news of the Omicron cluster will cause fewer customers to come by.

He said: "It's a normal, knee-jerk reaction from customers when they hear news about this new virus."

Mr Liu also said that the authorities should have informed tenants earlier since the Covid-19 cases had visited the gym last week.

Meanwhile,shops in the vicinity are taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Mr Stanley Ngoi, 50, store manager of the recently opened drink shop Cocolemon, said business has always been quiet, and was afraid that the news may cause business to worsen.

Staff have also been reminded to keep their masks on at all times, and they are also undergoing weekly antigen rapid tests.

Ms May Toh, who owns a juice stall on the same level as the gym, said she will try to sanitise the items in the store more often.

Mr Anthony Fok, who runs an economics tuition centre at the mall, said he will be moving all of his classes online for the next two weeks. He will also do the same for his branch in Tampines.

He said: "This situation is inevitable considering the outbreak in other countries. There is nothing to be overly worried or concerned about, as long as we keep to the safety measures to mitigate the risks of exposure."