Minister of Home Affairs YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Awang Abu Bakar Haji Apong and Minister of Health YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham Haji Jaafar during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

The government is looking to establish an automated contact tracing system as part of the country’s preparations before considering to lift any of the sultanate’s COVID-19 policy responses, said the minister of health today.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar said this in response to a question posed by the media during a press conference held at the ministry.

He explained that before any of the COVID-19 restrictions can be lifted,“we as a nation must be prepared, and evaluate ourselves in how we have managed to curb the outbreak”.

No dine-ins are allowed at all eateries in the country as one of the COVID-19 restrictions to curb the spread of the novel virus. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

The minister out that although the sultanate has been successful in controlling the pandemic, the government is trying to set up a contact tracing mechanism powered by artificial intelligence (AI) as an added preparatory measure.

“This (contact tracing system) will prepare our country in case of a second wave,” the minister said, adding that should any of the restrictions be lifted, social and physical distancing measures must still be maintained. 

“Meaning that individuals who are considered to be high risk must remain at home, and should they need to go out, they are required to wear masks,” he continued.

“The biggest challenge (for us) would be to reopen schools, which is still in discussion,” he concluded.

A Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Primary School teacher seen having an online class with her students as schools continue to close nationwide. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

0 new cases, 0 recoveries

During the press conference, YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham also announced that there were no new cases of COVID-19 infections reported in the sultanate, bringing the national tally to 138 confirmed cases.

He also revealed that there were no new recoveries, leading the total number of COVID-19 recoveries to remain at 124 cases.

A total of 13 active cases are still undergoing treatment at the National Isolation Cente (NIC), where two patients are still in critical condition, both requiring respiratory and heart/lung machine (ECMO) assistance.

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

As of today, a total of 2,509 individuals have completed their quarantine, while 66 individuals are currently undergoing quarantine in accordance with the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204).

In the past 24 hours, a total of 114 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of laboratory tests conducted since January 2020 to 13,263 tests.

With regard to the cases that have recovered but found to be positive again, the health minister announced that there are no cases that have re-tested postitive today, adding that one such case has been allowed to return home.

This brings the total number of such cases as of today to 21 individuals, of which seven individuals are still undergoing further examination and testing.

For further information and the latest updates members of the public can visit or call its 24-hour Health Advice Line 148 or through the web platform



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