Minister of Health, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham Haji Jaafar during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Four more individuals have recovered from the coronavirus infection, bringing Brunei’s total number of COVID-19 recoveries to 56, announced the minister of health today.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar, in a press conference, revealed that two new positive cases have been identified, recording a national tally of 133 confirmed cases in the country.

  • Case 132 is a 40-year-old woman and is the wife of patient 103. She did not have any travel history abroad and tested negative on March 24. However, she started to experience sore throat and flu on March 30 during quarantine.
  • Case 133 is a 38-year-old local who arrived in the country from the United Kingdom on April 1 via Singapore onboard Royal Brunei Airlines BI424 flight, seated at 22A.

    Prior to entering Brunei, the patient had fever and coughs when in the UK and did not have any signs of infections during travel back to the sultanate.
Source: Ministry of Health

The health minister added that the recovered cases have returned home, which means 76 cases are currently under treatment at the National Isolation Centre (NIC).

Out of this figure, three cases are currently in critical condition and one case requires the aid of a heart/lung machine (ECMO) while the remaining patients are in good condition.

To date, some 451 individuals are still in quarantine under the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204) while 1,858 have completed their quarantine.

A total of 7,055 laboratory tests have been conducted since January this year, leading to a ratio of 1 in every 61 residents have examined for COVID-19.

Furthermore, the minister revealed that patient 121 is related to several of the confirmed cases from the tabligh cluster whereby at least one of them was in contact with the former.

A staff of the ministry of health seen working at the new virology laboratory in Jalan Sumbiling. Image: Faizul Haqimie

MoH extends appreciation

The ministry also expressed its gratitude to local contractors for their generous contributions towards the building of the new Molecular Diagnostic Unit for Respiratory Viruses, National Virology Reference Laboratory in Jalan Sumbiling which total cost of construction is $569,349.

The companies are Trane Aire, Daya Engineering, Amberhigh, Beaver Engineering, Kha Arkitek, Swee, Petar Perunding, Supinda Electronic & Trading, Razaco Transport Services and Gaya Reka.

COVID-19 Relief Fund

Moreover, the minister also revealed that the COVID-19 Relief Fund has amounted to $3,249,221.97 as of today.

Businesses and members of the public can submit donations to the ‘COVID-19 Relief Fund’ through Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam’s account at 1010070123.

Members of the public can also donate via SMS by typing BANTU1/5/10/20/50/100 to 38111 for both DST and Progresif subscribers.

Further information or updates can be obtained from MoH’s website www.moh.gov.bn or contact the Health Advice Line 158 or via the web-based application healthinfo.gov.bn.

Measures to flattening the curve

YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham said that with the public abiding the directives rolled out by His Majesty’s government as a whole of nation approach is the key measure to flattening the curve.

“We should give thanks to His Majesty as well as the public for the cooperation in curbing this outbreak,” he said.

Every measure is equally important in combating the spread of COVID, he added.

Source: Ministry of Health

“In theory, if no more infections (are identified) we will have to wait or a month or 28 days, that is the definition of when the outbreak is controlled. During that time, we will wait and see if our efforts succeed or otherwise.”

The minister said this in response to a question posed by the media referring to Brunei’s COVID19 policy responses such as the travel ban, suspension of dine-in services, mandatory self-isolation for inbound travellers, among others, in view of the current situation where the country is actively “flattening the curve”.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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