The Ministry of Health has introduced the Home Isolation Policy for COVID-19 patients under Category 1 and Category 2a, effective Friday, 8 October.

These are patients who do not have any symptoms and patients who only have mild symptoms, respectively, announced the health minister, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Jaafar in a press briefing on Friday.

Image: Analisa Amu

The new policy is a directive to patients under those categories to undergo self-isolation at home only after obtaining assessment and confirmation from the Ministry of Health.

It was stated that each COVID-19 patient managed under this policy will be required to adhere the following:

i. Monitored by the Patient Management Team from the Ministry of Health throughout the 14-day self-isolation;

ii. Mandatory to wear a red wristband for the purpose of identifying COVID-19 patients until the end of the isolation period; and

iii. Comply to all the directives from the Ministry of Health and ensure easy contact at any time.

Patients who fail or defy in complying with this Home Isolation Policy may be subject to a compound fine of up to $5,000, under the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204).

The Mahad Isolation Centre in Tutong. Image: The Bruneian

“Meanwhile, any patients who feel their symptoms are worsening while in isolation at home, should call the Ambulance Emergency Line 991 immediately so that they can provide treatment as soon as possible,” he said.

According to YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham, the policy is based on the latest scientific results and guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and patient management practices in several countries.

“The Home Isolation Policy is introduced after comprehensive research was conducted to assess the suitability of the implementation of this policy in Brunei Darussalam,” the minister further explained.

“Findings form scientific studies; guidelines from WHO and similar practices that have been successfully implemented in several countries have given confidence to the Government that this policy can be implemented safely while providing comfort to patients to remain in their homes throughout the isolation period,” he added.

This article was first published on 9 October 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 162

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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