Minister of Health YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Isham during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Image: Azrina Zin

A total of 143 violations were found under the Infectious Diseases Act (Section 204) in the first ten weeks of reducing COVID-19 social and physical distancing measures, where 13 of the premises were issued compound fines.

Speaking during a press conference, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar said following the enforcement patrols conducted by the Health Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Health (MoU) through the ‘Ops Merati’, several offences were observed.

These offenses include not providing body temperature checks before entering the premises, food handlers and barbers not wearing face masks when performing their duties and not imposing social distancing measures at business premises.

He added that the ‘Ops Merati’ was also conducted in collaboration with the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA).

The minister then reminded the public, especially the owners and operators of business premises that commencing July 23, any offense found under the Infectious Diseases Act (Section 204) will be immediately issued compound fines.

A file photo of an employee performing a temperature check on a customer. Image: The Bruneian

YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham called on the public to continue to comply with all the directives issued by the government; to practice their social responsibilities by maintaining personal hygiene, practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette, wearing a face mask in crowded public places and if feeling unwell, not to go to public places and attend social gatherings.

He added that MoH will continue to monitor the situation of the outbreak at the national as well as regional and global level and carry out ongoing risk assessments to consider further mitigation measures.

“If the outbreak situation becomes alarming yet again, the Ministry of Health will not hesitate to tighten the social distancing measures that need to be taken to control the outbreak,” the minister added.

Moreover, the minister added that the public is required to comply with all regulations and directives related to the reduction of social distancing measures.

“Any individual found to be in violation of or disobey any order issued shall be an offense under the Infectious Diseases Act (Section 204) which carries a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment up to 6 months or both. The Ministry will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone who does not comply with the directives issued,” he said.

A barber wearing a protective suit sanitises his tools before cutting the hair of a customer at a barbershop after its reopening, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia June 10, 2020. Image: Reuters

COVID-19 Updates

During the press conference the minister also announced that there were no new cases of COVID-19 infections were reported in the sultanate, which brings the national tally for COVID-19 cases to remain at 141 cases.

The total number of cases that have recovered, he added, also remains 138 individuals.

Currently there are 456 individuals who are undergoing mandatory isolation at the monitoring centers provided by the government. These are individuals who have just arrived in the country after traveling abroad.

At present, a total of 3,379 individuals have completed their mandatory self-isolation at the monitoring centres.

In the past 24 hours, a total of 567 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of laboratory tests conducted from January 2020 to 37,058 tests.

For further information and latest development, visit MoH’s website www.moh.gov.bn or call its Health Advice Line 148 or through the web platform healthinfo.gov.bn

Alternatively, members of the public can also get the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in Brunei through GOV.BN official channel on Telegram at https://t.me/govbnofficial

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and the Second Minister of Finance and Economy YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew. Image: Azrina Zin

COVID-19 Relief Fund

Also sharing the session was Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy (MoFE) who announced that as of July 22, the COVID-19 Relief Fund has collected $12,953,059.30 since it was introduced on March 21.

YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah revealed that the funds will be used to pay for the new National Isolation Centre (NIC) building in Tutong, the purchase of medical equipment especially those needed for the new NIC and the purchase of Infrared Thermal Imaging Device (Smart Helmet).

The minister went on to announce that the COVID-19 Relief Fund will be closed on August 1, adding that in light of no new cases of the COVID-19 being reported in the sultanate, donations have slowed down for two consecutive months.

Moreover, the minister encouraged members of the public to continue donating to the relief fund before the closing date.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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