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

No new cases of COVID-19 infection reported in the sultanate today, bringing the national tally to 138 confirmed cases, the minister of health revealed.

Speaking during a press conference, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar said that one individual has recovered from the COVID-19 virus, totalling to 116 recovered cases.

A total of 21 active cases are still under treatment at the National Isolation Cente (NIC), where two patients are still in critical condition, with both requiring respiratory and heart/lung machine (ECMO) assistance.

As of today, a total of 2408 individuals have completed their quarantine, while 138 individuals are currently undergoing quarantine in accordance with the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204).

In the past 24 hours, a total of 161 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of laboratory tests conducted since January 2020 to 11,633 tests.

The health minister also revealed that no recovered patients have been re-admitted to the NIC.

“This brings the total number of re-admitted cases to 18 individuals, of which 13 individuals are still undergoing further examination and testings,” he added.

Random COVID-19 laboratory test

Since April 7, a total of 1001 random COVID-19 laboratory tests have been conducted among migrant workers working in the sultanate, as part of the government’s effort in monitoring the spread of coronavirus in the country.

“All test results are negative so far,” said YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham.

Meanwhile, since April 16, the ministry of health also conducted COVID-19 tests to inmates in all prison institutions and residents of Al-Islah Rehabilitation Centre, including those who are new to the facilities for surveillance purposes.

“So far, Alhamdulillah all test results are negative. The Ministry of Health will continue to conduct such surveillance tests from time to time,” the minister added.

(L-R) Minister of Religous Affairs YB Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman, Minister of Health YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham Haji Jaafar and Minister of Transort and Infocommunications YB Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Clarification on activities in recreational parks and beaches

The minister then shared that following yesterday’s statement on the prohibition of performing activities that involve mass gathering in public places, especially in parks and recreational forest sites, beaches and lakes.

“The ministry of health would like to clarify that the ministry has no restriction for the public to visit these recreational sites, however, the public must comply to all the directives and advice issued by the government,” said YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham

He said that this includes practicing physical distancing of at least one meter away from others in the surroundings and not engage in group activities.

A signboard at Tasek Lama Recreational Park displaying the steps to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham went on to remind the public to continue their social responsibilities and cultivate preventive measures such as to not visit recreational sites if you are unwell.

Individuals were to refrain from gathering or hanging out before, during and after performing physical activity and leave the site immediately once finished; practice personal and environmental hygiene; as well as to practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette.

Mosque closures to extend until April 27

Sharing the session was Minister of Religious Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin announcing that mosque closures will be extended for another week, starting tomorrow until April 27.

The minister further said that the extension will include the first few days of Ramadhan, affecting terawih prayers and the readings of the Al-Quran.

Minister of Religous Affairs YB Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

“These are significant acts of worship in welcoming and celebrating the month of Ramadhan. Therefore the Brunei Islamic Religious Council encourages the public to perform prayers and supplications at home with their family,” he said.

The religious affairs minister also reminded the public to adhere to the “Guidelines On Mass Gatherings, Social Events, Meetings Or Training Sessions” by the Ministry of Health.

“The temporary closure has reached six weeks and it feels heavy particularly as we’re entering the month of Ramadhan,” he added.

The Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque in Kampong Kiarong. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

“However, we understand that the temporary closure of mosques and prayer halls around the country are implemented to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and thus to safeguard the well-being and safety of the country.”

For further information and latest development, visit MoH’s website 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 GOV.BN official channel on Telegram at https://t.me/govbnofficial

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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