Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Isham Hj Jaafar during a press conference held at the ministry of health. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

Brunei has reported its third fatality from the COVID-19 infection, a 67-year-old local man who passed away at the National Isolation Centre (NIC) on Monday at 7.35pm.

Minister of Health in a press briefing announced that the late patient was Case 122 who had been receiving treatment at the centre since being diagnosed positive with the novel coronavirus on March 28.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Isham Hj Jaafar said that Allahyarham started to develop signs of infection on March 23 and was admitted at the centre’s Intensive Care Unit on March 30.

“Allahyarham has continuously tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus since May 10 and has been undergoing intensive care treatment at the centre,” said the minister.

The minister further advised members of the public not to circulate personal information about the late patient to respect the deceased as well as protect his family’s privacy and confidentiality.

On behalf of the ministry, YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Isham proceeded to offer condolences to the family of the deceased at the press briefing.

Zero cases, no recoveries

Moreover, the sultanate sees no new cases of COVID-19 infection for more than a month with the national tally to remain at 141.

Thirty-one individuals are currently undergoing quarantine in accordance with the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204) and a total of 2,792 individuals have completed their quarantine and are in good condition.

In the past 24 hours, a total of 245 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of laboratory tests conducted from January 2020 to 25,323.

The BruHealth app showing a green code which means that the user is healthy and fit to enter public premises. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

BruHealth updates

The health minister also revealed that the BruHealth tracing app has accumulated 384,572 registered as users, with a total of 9,051 businesses and premises already on the platform, added the minister.

Meanwhile, a total of 4,820 business premises have downloaded the PremiseScan application.

The minister went on to inform that all premises are advised to download the application to facilitate the QR code scanning especially for those who do not have access to mobile phone devices to enter premises.

Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah Haji Sulaiman during a press conference held at the ministry of health. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

Level 2 de-escalation plan for schools

With the COVID-19 situation in the sultanate currently under control, the government has announced additional de-escalation measures, extending them to schools, vocational, technical, higher education institutions, tuitions and music schools, which will come into effect on June 18.

This was announced by the health minister in the presence of Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah Haji Sulaiman at the press conference held at the ministry of health.

For illustration purposes only: Students seen learning robotics through Cozmo. Image: The Bruneian

He further said that tuition schools and music schools are allowed to operate in a small class of fewer than five students at a time.

“All visitors attending to the aforementioned premises are required to comply with the directives and guidelines of social distancing issued by the government and those with signs of infection should carry out the social responsibilities by not attending to these premises,” the minister said.

He 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 added.

Students seen making their way to school. Image: Shutterstock

Meanwhile, the health ministry will continue to monitor the situation of the outbreak at the national, regional, and global levels and carry out ongoing risk assessments to consider further mitigation measures.

“If the outbreak is again alarming, the ministry of Health will not hesitate to tighten the social distancing measures that need to be taken to control the outbreak. The public will be informed about this from time to time,” he concluded.

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 or through the BruHealth App.

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

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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