Istana Open House on 13 May to Be Cancelled Due to Spike in COVID-19 Community Cases

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Unfortunately, it seems that some things are just not meant to be, like the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble (albeit unconfirmed considering our situation now), your unending crush on that popular student in school (confirmed)

And really regrettably, a tour of the Istana, which will soon be missing in action for two years (in a row) now.

Istana Open House on 13 May to Be Cancelled Due to Spike in COVID-19 Community Cases

According to The Straits Timesthe Istana Open House event was set to take place on 13 May 2021.

Yeah, key word being “was”.

The recent spike in COVID-19 community cases, however, has rendered that idea a little more unlikely now.

In a statement on yesterday (4 May), the Istana announced the cancellation of the event, in light of the multi-ministry task force’s recent call to cut down on social interaction.

Existing ticket holders, unfortunately, will have to wait for the next Istana Open House event. However, there is a small consolation: they would at least be able to visit with their current tickets.

“However, since we announced the restarting of this open house, there has unfortunately been an increase in the number of local COVID-19 cases. We have therefore decided to err on the side of caution and cancel the Istana Open House,” said the Istana.

A tough pill to swallow, and an even more bitter one to process considering the previous few months of anticipation.

Open House

According to the news report, the Istana had issued a declaration on 28 April 2021, announcing that for the first time since the pandemic began, its doors will be open to the public.

Apparently, it was to be opened in stages to the public.

The announcement was made in commemoration of both Labour Day and Hari Raya Puasa. Prior to the pandemic, it was a yearly tradition to open the Istana on the public holidays of Hari Raya Puasa and Labour Day.

The emergence of the COVID-19 virus, however, messed up plans for yesteryear. And it seems that the doors will be closed again this year.

Well, you know what they say: maybe third time’s the charm.

Recent Spike in Cases

On 27 April 2021, it was announced that a nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) had been infected.

Apparently, the 46-year-old nurse had already received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.


Also, likely infections were found in a doctor and three other patients after a test.

By 29 April 2021, 16 new community cases were reported. A second ward was subsequently locked down.

By 3 May, the cluster was at 35 cases. Two more wards were locked down.

During this time, an 88-year-old woman who was linked to the hospital passed away. She is reportedly Singapore’s 31st COVID-19 death, and the first to die from COVID-19 in over a month.

In the wake of the events, numerous measures have been implemented in a bid to stop the spread.

Entry restrictions, for instance, have been imposed on those who visited TTSH’s inpatient wards from 18 April 2021 onwards.

So you go to social media and it appears that everyone is agreeing with your views. Watch this video to the end and you’d realise that there’s a disturbing reason behind this:

Four wards have been locked down at TTSH.

All close contacts of identified cases have also been quarantined.

Inpatients, who are at possible risk of developing fever and ARI symptoms, have also been placed under clinical surveillance.


The transition of healthcare workers into TTSH will be restricted as well, with healthcare student postings and non-essential trainings suspended indefinitely.

In addition, several places, where identified cases have visited, were closed down for cleaning.

Also, Singaporeans are encouraged to:

  • Avoid going to crowded places, and stay home where possible
  • Limit social gatherings to 2 per day in total, whether to another household or in a public place
  • Keep groups as small as possible
  • Stick to a regular group of contacts
  • Stay home when unwell, and see a doctor to get tested when sick and be vaccinated when it is offered to you

Feature Image: Hit1912 /

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