(L-R): Minister of Health YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, Yang Berhotmat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti Haji Mohd Daud and Commissioner of Police Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan Haji Hambali during a press conference held at Al-Afiah Hall. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Ten new confirmed COVID-19 cases have been identified by the Ministry of Health (MoH) today, recording a total of 50 cases in the sultanate.

This new development was announced by Health Minister Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar in a joint press conference with Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Mokti Haji Mohd Daud and Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan Haji Hambali held early this evening.

Seven of the cases are related to the mass tabligh gathering held in Kuala Lumpur recently, whereby remaining three are linked to Case 25 who did not attend the religious gathering in Malaysia.

Case details

  • Case 41 is a 31-year-old female who is the wife of Case 15 from the tabligh cluster. She did not have any travelling history abroad and start to cough with flu on March 12.
  • Case 42 is  55 years old and the sibling of Case 12 from the tabligh cluster. The case did not have any travel history and began to experience fever and cough on March 9.
  • Case 43 is a 29-year-old local man who did not attend the religious event in Kuala Lumpur but joined a tabligh gathering held in Brunei recently.
  • Case 44 is a 23-year-old individual who is related to Case 25. The patient attended a family gathering with the latter on March 8 and began experiencing fever on March 10.
  • Case 45, aged 56 is also related to Case 25. The patient attended a family gathering with the case on March 8 and began to feel unwell on March 12.
  • Case 46 is 56 years old and a friend of Case 8 from the tabligh cluster whom he met on March 9. The patient began to feel feverish on March 12.
  • Case 47 is a 68-year-old local man and did not attend the religious event in Kuala Lumpur but took part in the tabligh gathering held in Brunei.
  • Case 48 is a 20-year-old local teenager who attended a tabligh event held in the country. He never attended the religious gathering held in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Case 49, aged 24 is related to Case 25 as well. The case previously attended a family gathering on March 8 and did not show signs of infection.
  • Case 50, aged 55 is the wife to Case 36 from the tabligh cluster. She did not have any travelling history out of the country and has no symptoms of infection.
Source: Ministry of Health

“All of the cases who are now at the National Isolation Centre are in stable condition, showing no symptoms and do not require any breathing assistance,” the minister said.

To date, 886 people have been quarantined under the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204) and the ministry continues to investigate contacts of each case.

Some 1,023 laboratory tests have been carried out for COVID-19 since the outbreak in January this year.

Furthermore, the ministry would also like to inform the public that all who attended any tabligh events either in Brunei or outside of the country to undergo COVID-19 testing held at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital’s Sports Complex.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti Haji Mohd Daud during a press conference held at Al-Afiah Hall. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of other tabligh congregants who did not attend the laboratory test can contact the Health Advice Line 148.

“Nine Bruneians who are currently in Kuala Lumpur are under quarantine as required by the Malaysian government. Three of them are positive and currently being treated at Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor,” said YB Dato Isham, adding that one is negative and remaining five are still waiting for test results.

Meanwhile, Bruneians who took part in the Pontianak Bike Week that was held from March 12 -14 in Kalimantan as well as in the Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon 2020 that was held from March 14 -16 in Sabah are required to register at the Port Health Authority at all control posts, including Brunei International Airport, to receive the two-week self-isolation guidelines upon arrival in the sultanate.

Any individuals who have arrived in the country and did not register are required to contact the Health Advice Line 148.

Commissioner of Police Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan Haji Hambali during a press conference held at Al-Afiah Hall. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Members of the public are encouraged to call the advice line to report on any mass gatherings held in the country involving the citizens and residents of Brunei.

“All Brunei citizens and residents in the country are prohibited from exiting the sultanate starting March 16,” said the health minister.

This excludes those required to attend court hearings, seek emergency medical treatment or are resuming studies abroad, which are subject to approval by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Any application should be submitted via email to travelapplication@jpm.gov.bn along with scanned copies of supporting documents.

(L-R): Minister of Health YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti Haji Mohd Daud and Commissioner of Police Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan Haji Hambali during a press conference held at Al-Afiah Hall. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Meanwhile, contacts undergoing quarantine with negative COVID-19 tests are reminded to abide by the quarantine order.

Failure to comply is an offence under the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204) and if found guilty, can be fined up to $10,000 or six months imprisonment or both.

Should anyone experience signs of infection, they are required to call the Health Advice Line 148.

“The ministry would also like to advise those with symptoms to not visit any patients at the hospital especially those (patients) with chronic disease. It will cause harm to the patients,” said the health minister.

He added that mutual co-operation is highly needed from members of the public in order to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

For further information and latest developments, visit MoH’s website at www.moh.gov.bn or call its 24-hour Health Advice Line 148.

Image: Courtesy of MoH

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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