In the wake of surging cases of COVID-19 as well as close contacts in the sultanate yesterday, the government has implemented tighter COVID-19 restrictions including the ban of any mass gatherings and the initiation of Work-From-Home programmes for the public and private sectors.

Speaking during a press conference on Monday, the Minister of Health, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar shared that these restrictions will be carried out until 21 August 2021.

Image: Yusri Adanan

The restrictions on mass gathering however are exempted in a few circumstances including allowing 15 people to gather for funeral that are not COVID-19 related and allowing a mass gathering of five people for wedding or akad nikah ceremonies.

“Recreational activities such as jogging and hiking are allowed individually without the need to wear a face mask. However, group activities are only allowed for 2 people living in the same household,” added the minister.

In line with this new directive, officers and staff whether government or private are require to Work-From-Home with frontliners and staff for essential sectors being exempted.

Minister of Health YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar in a press conference. Image: Yusri Adanan

This includes frontliners (health sector, security sector, hospitality sector, transportation sector), daily necessities sector (food, retail business), utilities sector (electricity, water, telecommunications), people working at the border and points of entry into Brunei Darussalam, oil and gas and downstream sectors construction sector and agri-food and forestry sectors.

“No one is allowed to leave their house without any important reason. Only two people from one family are allowed to leave the house to buy daily necessities,” YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham continued.

Following this increasing trend of COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health, said the minister will be trying its best to provide the best possible service and care for the public and with this regard, the minister called on the public for their utmost cooperation as services are currently trying to meet a very high demand.

Image: Yusri Adanan

“Please speak politely, considerately and prudently with health workers and other frontliners such as the Health Advice Line 148, hospitals and health centres, vaccination centres and swabbing centres,” he said.

“The Ministry of Health will not hesitate to take legal action against any threats or violence made against health workers and other frontliners,” he added.

YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham went on to advise the public to not panic with the current situation and to not visit health facilities unnecessarily in order to give priority to those in need of medical services and contacts of positive cases who require swab tests.

Image: Yusri Adanan

“Swab tests will not be conducted on those with no symptoms and do not meet test criteria,” he said.

Lastly, the health minister would like to remind the public to scan the QR codes on entry and when exiting any premises and to active the Bluetooth function of their phones while in public places.

For further information and latest updates, please visit the official website of the Ministry of Health at www.moh.gov.bn or by contacting the Health Advice Line 148 or through the BruHealth App.

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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