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

No new cases of the COVID-19 were reported in the sultanate on Saturday, leading the national tally infections to remain at 136, the Minister of Health announced, while assuring the public that the 28-day countdown still continues.

Addressing the media, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar said in a press conference that the 28-day countdown of no new COVID-19 cases in the sultanate – the durational benchmark for when the country can safely evaluate the lifting of COVID-19 policy responses – has not been reset.

He explained that the new case that was announced the day prior was an imported case, who upon arrival, was immediately brought into isolation at one of the facilities that have been designated by the government.

“So the countdown still continues, and has not been reset,” the minister affirmed.

“(The countdown) will only be reset, if the infection has spread, even if it is limited. For example, should case 136 infected their spouse, then we will have to reset the countdown,” he added.

The minister then reminded the public that they must be resilient in practicing the COVID-19 preventative measures that have been outlined by the government, particularly those that are doing sports and physical activities at stadiums or recreational parks.

“Always practice physical distancing and avoid having to gather before, during or after the activities,” he said.

Addressing a question by the media, the minister informed the public that the sultanate is still very much under threat of the COVID-19 cases in light of its returning citizens especially those coming from countries impacted by the coronavirus.

“We estimated that about 20 per cent (of travellers) would be infected, but the ratio thankfully, did not reach that height. Recently we had about a hundred students flown in, and only one was positive for the virus,” YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham said.

“However, every entry, whether local or foreign, they each bring their own risk. So we have to always be prepared and ensure that their entry into the country is regulated meticulously, because you only need one to spoil everything,” he added.

Source: Ministry of Health

During the press conference, the minister also revealed that five more cases have recovered and returned home, after undergoing treatment at the National Isolation Centre (NIC), bringing the sultanate’s total number of recoveries to 104.

To date, 31 cases are still being treated at the NIC and two are still in critical condition requiring respiratory and heart/lung machine (ECMO) assistance.

As of today, a total of 2,317 individuals have completed their quarantine in accordance to the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204) and only 75 individuals are still under quarantine.

Meanwhile, in the past 24 hours, a total of 295 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total amount of COVID-19 laboratory tests conducted since January 2020 to 9,637.

For further information and latest developments, visit MoH’s website at www.moh.gov.bn or call its 24-hour Health Advice Line 148 or through the web platform healthinfo.gov.bn.

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.

Image: Courtesy of the Ministry of Health

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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