DPM Heng Swee Keat tests positive for Covid-19, says symptoms not serious

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat tested positive for the virus despite donning masks and avoiding crowds throughout the trip to Europe.
PHOTO: MCI

SINGAPORE - Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has tested positive for Covid-19 while in Germany, and will not be attending the inaugural financial technology (fintech) conference Point Zero Forum.

Mr Heng said in a Facebook post on Sunday (June 19) that he tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday while in Berlin, despite donning masks and avoiding crowds throughout the trip to Europe.

"I woke up with a sore throat. My symptoms are so far not serious, thankfully because I am vaccinated and boosted," he added.

The forum, which is organised by the Swiss Secretariat for International Finance (SIF) and Elevandi, a non-profit organisation set up by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, will be held in Zurich from June 21 to June 23.

Apologising to everyone involved on the trip and the organisers of the Point Zero Forum, Mr Heng said that he is currently in isolation and will not be able to continue with his work trip.

He had travelled to London on June 12, where he attended the London Tech Week event, and arrived in Berlin on June 16.

While in Berlin, Mr Heng met German Federal Minister of Health, Professor Karl Lauterbach. 

“Prof Karl is very knowledgeable in the science of pandemic, and has even read a research paper published by Singapore on the long-term effects of Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome),” Mr Heng wrote in a Facebook post on June 17.

“We also discussed the lessons from Covid-19 and potential areas of research collaboration on pandemic preparedness. 

“The world must work in unison to prevent the next pandemic, and our two countries will do our part in this global effort,” he said, adding that they also reaffirmed the excellent relations between Singapore and Germany. 

The last leg of Mr Heng's trip to Europe would have been in Switzerland.

"What an unusual Father's Day to be quarantined in a hotel abroad. But glad to do a video call with my family back in Singapore," said Mr Heng.

"Here's also wishing all fathers good health. Stay safe and stay strong, everyone!"

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