Two more COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, bringing the sultanate’s total number of infections to 56, revealed the Minister of Health.
Speaking at the joint press conference, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Md Isham Hj Jaafar said that one of the cases has been categorised as a second-generation infection from tabligh cluster in Kuala Lumpur.
Case 55 is 21 years old and contracted the coronavirus through a case that is closely linked to the tabligh cluster and is currently undergoing isolation at the National Isolation Centre in Tutong.
Case 56, on the other hand, is a 17-year-old, who attended a religious gathering in the sultanate on March 5 where a number of congregants from the first tabligh cluster were also present.
YB Dato Dr Md Isham added that two of the confirmed COVID-19 cases are currently in critical condition, needing the aid of breathing machines as they undergo treatment at the National Isolation Centre.
“Meanwhile, one case requires careful monitoring while the rest is in good and stable conditions,” he said.
The minister then addressed the nine locals from the tabligh cluster who have remained in Kuala Lumpur.
“Four of the individuals were tested positive, while one tested negative for the virus. They are currently being treatment at the Sungai Buloh Hospital and the Kuala Lumpur Hospital,” said YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham.
“The remaining four are still awaiting results and is in the midst of quarantine at the Jamek Seri Petaling Mosque, Selangor,” he added.
In light of these new developments, the health minister went on to announce the closure of all cinemas in the sultanate beginning March 18 as well as banning the entry of any foreign visitors from all countries in Europe including the United Kingdom.
“The travel restriction applies to individuals who visited these countries (including China’s Hubei province and Iran) within 14 days prior to arriving in Brunei. Local residents are exempted, however,” he said.
He added that the risk categorisation of countries affected by COVID-19 will no longer be valid, and as such visitors entering Brunei from any country must undergo self-isolation for 14 days upon entering the country.
“Foreigners living outside of Brunei who commute by land to and fro the country for work or any local residents commuting abroad including those who are registered with the Prime Minister’s Office will be issued a one-month permit and can reapply if necessary,” the minister continued.
Brunei registered companies, however, are not required to submit an application to enter and exit the country for the purpose of trade or delivering goods. The same applies to foreign companies entering Brunei for trade.
To date, 1,257 individuals have been quarantined under the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204), with 23 people having completed their quarantine period, who are reported to be in good condition, according to the minister.
Since early January, some 1,536 laboratory tests have been carried out for COVID-19 and for further information and latest developments, the public can visit MoH’s website at www.moh.gov.bn or call its 24-hour Health Advice Line 148.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN