Coronavirus case linked to gyms Boulder+Climbing and Climb Central

SINGAPORE – Two climbing gyms have been affected by Covid-19, with Boulder+Climbing and Climb Central announcing on their respective social media pages that a climber who visited their premises has contracted the disease.

It is unclear if the climber mentioned in each of the announcements is the same person. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a daily virus update on Sunday (March 8) that Case 142, a 26-year-old Singaporean man, had visited Aperia Mall before his admission in hospital. It did not say if the man had visited Boulder+Climbing.

The climbing gym, which is in The Aperia Mall in Kallang, said two new cases have been linked to the person who visited Boulder+Climbing on March 5. According to its Facebook page, it is “ceasing operations for the time being” as a safety precaution.

Climb Central, which has outlets at Kallang Wave Mall, Funan Mall and Novena Square, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that a climber who visited its Funan branch on Sunday has been confirmed as a Covid-19 case.

The gym said that contact tracing by the Ministry of Health (MOH) is under way, and that it would be closing from 8am to 2pm in the next few days to clean and disinfect its facilities. Its Funan outlet was closed on Tuesday, while the Kallang Wave and Novena Square branches will be shut between those hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The facilities will reopen after that.

Both gyms urged their users to exercise social responsibility and cooperate with the health ministry.

The Singapore Mountaineering Federation (SMF), which governs the sport here, on Tuesday issued an advisory on its Facebook page with similar guidelines.

SMF secretary Rasip Isnin told The Straits Times those guidelines are in accordance to those stipulated by the MOH, but with “climb-specific” tips such as urging climbers to avoid gym-hopping so as to prevent cases from crossing clusters.

“Climbers want to try different routes as different gyms offer different configurations, so we advise climbers to try to stick to one gym so it’s easier for monitoring purposes,” he said.

The national team were due to start training at the end of last month for the Asian Championships, scheduled to take place in China in May, but that is now on hold as the event has been postponed.

Mr Rasip added: “We’re also doing the same as what other organisations are, and Sport Singapore has given some guidelines on the do’s and don’ts for national sports associations and this is how we advise our athletes.”

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