Canceled: Singapore president no longer hosting open house amid latest wave of COVID-19 cases

The Istana. Photo: Anuj Choudhary/Google Maps
The Istana. Photo: Anuj Choudhary/Google Maps

Singapore’s president is no longer hosting an open house next week amid coronavirus fears. 

The President’s Office announced today that it has canceled the highly anticipated event to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa and Labor Day at the Istana, amid recent calls to discourage social gatherings in a bid to contain the latest wave of COVID-19 infections.  

“In view of the latest COVID-19 Multi-Ministry Taskforce’s guidance to reduce the level of social interactions in the community, the Istana Open House (IOH) on Thursday, 13 May 2021 will be cancelled,” the office said in a statement

President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohammed Abdullah Alhabshee live in the Istana, which has been closed to the public since February last year. It is customary for the Istana to host an open house on special occasions, during which visitors are normally given two hours to roam around. 

A day after tickets to the Istana open house were released, Singapore’s COVID-19 taskforce urged the public to limit daily gatherings to two amid rising coronavirus infections. Singapore has reported nine new infection clusters in the past month, with the biggest linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Other clusters include one linked to an ICA officer, migrant worker dormitories, and workers from Papua New Guinea.

Singapore has reported 31 deaths and 61,235 cases since the outbreak began last year. 

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