As the sultanate continues to see no new cases of the COVID-19 virus, one recovered individual has been reported to have tested positive for the coronavirus infection again and has been readmitted to the National Isolation Centre (NIC), the Minister of Health (MoH) revealed on Sunday.
The national tally for COVID-19 cases however, remains at 136 cases.
Speaking during a press conference, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar said that the case started developing symptoms and tested positive twelve days after being discharged from the NIC.
In light of this development, he pointed out, MoH will be changing the policy “for those who have recovered and allowed to return home”, where individuals that have been discharged from the NIC will be required to undergo 14 days of self-isolation at home compared to the previous seven days.
The recovered individuals will also be required to undertake the SARS-CoV-2 virus laboratory test according to the schedule allocated.
“This is a follow up treatment given to those who had undergone treatment in the NIC. Any cases that are found to be positive will be readmitted to the NIC for further investigation and treatment,”said YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham.
During the press conference, the minister also revealed that two more cases have recovered and allowed to return home, bringing the total number of recovered cases so far to 106 people.
At present, there are 29 cases that are being treated at the NIC, where two are still in critical condition and both require heart/lung machine (ECMO) and respiratory assistance.
A total of 2,334 individuals have completed their quarantine in accordance to the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204) and only 66 individuals are still undergoing quarantine.
Meanwhile, as of today, a total of 1,142 individuals have ended their mandatory self-isolation period in the monitoring centre provided by the government upon returning to the country after travelling internationally.
Additionally, in the past 24 hours, a total of 247 samples have been tested for the virus SARS-CoV-2 that brings the total amount of laboratory tests conducted since January 2020 to 9,884 tests.
Alternatively, members of the public can also get the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in Brunei through the GOV.BN Official channel on Telegram at https://t.me/govbnofficial.
Public warned against unsubstantiated information
Also present at the session was Minister of Home Affairs (MoHA) Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong who addressed an issue regarding a video that has spread online insinuating the sultanate had not imposed any travel restrictions.
According to the minister, the video in question was posted on Youtube, entitled Kembara Borneo Miri/Limbang Part 40 and took place on March 16, 2020, before any travel restrictions were put into effect.
“Travel restrictions were only initiated on March 24, whereby any foreigners intending to enter or transit through the sultanate are required to submit an application to the Department of Immigration and National Registration,” he said.
No foreigner would be allowed entry into the country without permission, he added.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Abu Bakar then added that the Department of Immigration and National Registration along with the relevant agencies will be taking action against any parties or individuals involved in spreading the video.
The minister then proceeded to advise the public to be sceptical of any information or news spread through social media, adding: “members of the public who receive the video are advised not to forward it others as it can cause unrest”.
YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham also shared the same sentiments, pointing out that many false and misleading news has been spread through social media since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the sultanate.
“The act of disseminating unsubstantial information, let alone falsely created by those who intend to mislead is an offense and may be prosecuted under the Public Order Act, Chapter 148, Section 34,” he said.
If found guilty, individuals who either verbally or in writing or using any means, disseminating false reports or making false statements, resulting in disturbing public order, can be charged with three years imprisonment and a fine up to B$3,000.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN