Singapore president Halimah Yacob, Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin test positive for COVID-19

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President Halimah Yacob. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo, Halimah Yacob/Facebook screencap)
President Halimah Yacob. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo, Halimah Yacob/Facebook screencap)

SINGAPORE — Singapore's president Halimah Yacob on Monday (4 July) evening announced that she had been infected with COVID-19.

"Just tested positive for COVID-19 with mild flu-like symptoms," said Halimah, 67, in a Facebook post.

She added that she has been vaccinated and boosted but did not mention if she has had her second booster shot.

"I hope to recover soon and am sorry to have to miss the events this week," wrote Halimah.

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin on Monday evening also announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

"All good things must come to an end. My COVID-free days are over," wrote Tan, 53, on his Facebook page.

"Had felt a little flu-ish, tested negative, and felt that I was on the mend. So far so good. Hope the symptoms would be mild."

In the post that came attached with a photo of a positive antigen rapid test (ART) result, he added that he had tested himself before Monday's Parliament sitting.

This would mean that Tan would not be able to be part of the two-day sitting in Parliament.

"Thanks to my deputies Christopher de Souza and Jessica Tan Soon Neo for holding the fort," he noted.

Tan said that he would also miss Monday's Meet the People session and apologised for cancelled events and appointments over the next few days.

Singapore last Tuesday reported 11,504 new COVID-19 cases, the highest in a day in over three months.

On the same day, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that Singapore is facing its next wave of Omicron infections, earlier than a previous prediction of July or August, possibly because many have travelled overseas during the June school holidays.

Cases infected with Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants in the community have been on a rise in Singapore. The surge in such cases is likely to continue, said authorities.

To date, 1,473,180 COVID-19 cases have been detected in Singapore. A total of 1,419 cases have died from the novel coronavirus infection.

As of Sunday, 92 per cent of the city-state's total population had completed their full COVID-19 vaccine regimen, while 78 per cent had received their first booster shots.

From 10 June, Singapore residents who are aged 50 to 59 can get a second vaccine booster if they wished to. The option was first made available to those aged 80 and above, and was later expanded to include those aged 60 to 79.

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