Among those arriving at the Brunei International Airport before being transported to self-isolation facilities provided by the government. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

All individuals arriving in Brunei Darussalam will no longer be allowed to undergo self-isolation in their own home and instead are required to self-isolate in the facilities provided by the government effective April 5, the Ministry of Health announced today.

According to Health Minister, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar, the reason behind the move came from the concern that individuals undergoing self-isolation at home were in violation of the Self-Isolation Notice.

“We have heard that some of these indivdiuals are going out, and leaving their primary place of residence. If this is true then it would go against all the hard work that we have been doing (in mitigating the outbreak),” he said in a press conference.

The minister went on to call on the public to report any individuals found to be in violation of the notice to the Royal Brunei Police Force.

Minister of Health YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham Haji Jaafar during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Image: Faza Suraj

Under the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204), individuals served with a Self-Isolation Notice must;

(i) Remain at their primary place of residence
(ii) Refrain from any outside activities for a period of 14 days from the date of arrival.

Failure to comply is an offence under the law and the penalty of this offence includes imprisonment for up to a period of six months, or a fine up to $10,000, or both.

The minister added that 243 individuals have completed their self-isolation period in the facilities that have been designated by the government, and are allowed to return to their respective homes.

“This also means that we have more rooms available at the designated facilities (for any individual arriving in the country),” he continued.

Source: Ministry of Health

1 new case, 1 new recovery

During the press conference, the the minister proceeded to reveal one new confirmed case bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in Brunei Darussalam to 135.

Case 135 is a local man aged 43 who went to Malaysia on February 27. He did not however attend the Tabligh gathering at Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling, Malaysia.

He then went on to Makassar, Indonesia on March 10 to attend a Tabligh gathering which was cancelled. He was then quarantined by the Indonesian authorities until March 24.

Case 135 then left for Jakarta on April 2 on a flight to Kuala Lumpur onboard Malaysia Airlines MH720. He then returned to the sultanate on April 3 from Kuala Lumpur via Miri, Sarawak onboard MAS MH2574 (seat 2G).

He started developing symptoms since March 22.

Source: Ministry of Health

YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham also announced one more individual who has recovered from the coronavirus infection, bringing the total number of COVID-19 recoveries to 66.

This means that there are 68 cases that are still being treated at the National Isolation Centre.

Of these, three cases are still in critical condition and require respiratory assistance, where one of them still requires heart/lung machine (ECMO) assistance.

To date, 353 individuals are still undergoing quarantine under the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204) while 1,984 have completed their quarantine.

A total of 7,801 laboratory tests have been conducted since January this year, leading to a ratio of 1 in every 56 residents have tested for COVID-19.

For further information and latest developments, visit MoH’s website at www.moh.gov.bn or call its 24-hour 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 the GOV.BN Official channel on Telegram at https://t.me/govbnofficial.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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