Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19, making it his first infection since the pandemic began. In a Facebook post, the 71-year-old leader shared that he contracted the virus following work trips to Africa and Asia. Due to his age, Prime Minister Lee has been prescribed the antiviral medication Paxlovid.
Although Lee expressed feeling generally okay, his doctors have advised him to self-isolate until he becomes asymptomatic. Recently, he had embarked on official visits to South Africa from May 14 to 16 and Kenya from May 17 to 19. Additionally, he attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Indonesia on May 10 and 11.
Lee disclosed that he received his last COVID-19 vaccine booster shot back in November. Given his personal experience, he highlighted the importance of Singaporeans keeping up with their vaccinations to minimize the risk of severe illness. Health Minister Ong Ye Kung raised concerns in Parliament regarding the declining vaccination rates among seniors, cautioning that this trend could weaken the population’s resilience against COVID-19 over time, leaving the nation vulnerable to the virus once again.
The Prime Minister’s diagnosis sheds light on the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, even for high-ranking officials. Singapore has been proactive in its vaccination campaign, working diligently to protect its population. However, the decline in vaccination rates among specific age groups raises concerns about the country’s overall ability to withstand the virus.
As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong enters a period of self-isolation and receives medical treatment, it serves as a reminder to Singaporeans about the importance of remaining vigilant and adhering to safety measures. The government’s message emphasizes the need for prioritizing vaccination and staying up to date with booster shots, underscoring the ongoing efforts required to combat the pandemic and safeguard public health.