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

Six individuals were found with coronavirus antibodies following a preliminary analysis of the recent COVID-19 survey conducted nationwide by the ministry of health.

Health Minister Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar in a press conference revealed that they, however, were tested negative from the novel SARS-CoV-2 infection via swab testings.

“They are not infectious and all close contacts (of the individuals) have been traced and (tested) negative. So, the patients and family should not worry,” he said.

The minister further said that the results gave the impression that they might have been infected with the virus but do not have an active infection at this time.

The survey aimed to check whether there has been evidence of community spread further estimating the population’s immunity for a certain infection.

“The SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus and before this (outbreak), there is (already) coronavirus but the human coronavirus, which causes the normal flu,” said the minister, adding that the antibody could cross-react with the test kit.

He added: “We take it in a positive manner that we have community spread, however, the sample is quite small. It does not give too much power in the study and we need to do a larger scale, to see where we are.”

A total of 527 people out of five selected health facilities in the country took part in the survey that was conducted from May 4 – 6.

The ministry is set to have follow-up investigations in the coming months.

No new cases, zero recoveries

The sultanate reported no new cases of the COVID-19 infection today, giving the total number of confirmed cases to remain at 141.

YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham also revealed that no patient has recovered from the novel coronavirus, with the number of recoveries to stand at 132.

There are eight active cases still under treatment at the National Isolation Center, where two are still in critical condition.

However, one patient still requires the heart/lung machine (ECMO) as well as respiratory assistance, and one case only requires respiratory assistance.

Meanwhile, the rest are in a stable condition.

At present, a total of 2575 individuals have completed their quarantine, while 132 individuals are currently undergoing quarantine in accordance with the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204).

In the past 24 hours, 182 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of laboratory tests conducted from January 2020 to 15,482 tests.

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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