COVID-19 live updates: All Brunei residents barred from leaving the country

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Red Fox
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COVID-19 live updates: All Brunei residents barred from leaving the country

Post by Red Fox » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:18 am

We aim to make this live blog a page where Bruneians can get trusted, verified information on the COVID-19 outbreak. We will post news as it happens, debunk misinformation and share the latest updates from the Ministry of Health.

All Bruneians and foreign residents are barred from leaving the country
7.40pm | March 15, 2020

Beginning tomorrow, all citizens and residents of Brunei, including foreigners, will be barred from leaving the country in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“Tourists will be allowed to leave the country, but as for people coming into Brunei, that’s a matter that will have to be assessed in the next few days,” said health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar.

Bruneians and foreign residents who need to leave the country for urgent matters, such as medical treatment, court hearings or to resume studies overseas, must apply for approval from the Prime Minister’s Office. Requests can be sent to travelapplication@jpm.gov.bn and should include supporting documents.

Brunei reported 10 new cases today, bringing the total to 50. The minister said they expect to see a “surge” in the number of new cases in the coming weeks.

When asked how long the travel ban would last, the minister said it would depend on how effective the government and community are able to contain the spread of the disease.

“The most important thing is still containment and contact tracing of these [confirmed] cases. If we manage to get 80 percent or more of the contacts of this [Tabligh] cluster, God willing, we will be able to contain it.”

“We each have our role to play, social responsibility. ” he said, adding that all public places should be throughly cleaned and people need to maintain good personal hygiene.

“This is the most basic thing. If you all keep going out [of the country], continue to hold mass gatherings — we will not be able to do this [contain the spread of the virus].

“If this becomes beyond our capacity, it will be disastrous. It might trigger a lockdown.”

Brunei COVID-19 tally rises to 50
7.14pm | March 15, 2020

The Ministry of Health said 10 more people tested positive for COVID-19 today, bringing the total number in Brunei to 50.

Forty-five are related to the cluster of people who attended a mass Tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur in early March, but five cases are independent of this cluster.

To date, a total of 886 people have been issued quarantine orders because they had close contact with those infected.

Health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar said they expect to see a “surge” in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Malaysian authorities have also quarantined nine Brunei nationals in Kuala Lumpur after three tested positive for COVID-19. They are being treated at the Sg Buloh Hospital, Selangor. Of this group, one tested negative for the coronavirus, while five are awaiting lab results.

Those returning to Brunei from EU must self-isolate for 14 days.

Three new cases COVID-19 detected, bringing Brunei total to 40
7pm | March 14, 2020

The Ministry of Health said three more people tested positive for COVID-19 today, including a nine-month old baby.

Brunei has confirmed 40 cases, while another 638 people are under quarantine for having close contact with infected persons.

Minister of Health YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar said the cases are still contained to the KL cluster and there is no evidence of community transmission.

If the disease spreads, MoH is prepared to mobilise private healthcare workers to help alleviate the burden on the healthcare system, he added.

MoH has already scaled down some services and mobilised student nurses from PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences at UBD to help out in hospital wards.

“Even if we take all the necessary measures, we cannot contain the disease unless people do their part by social distancing, cancelling mass gatherings and being socially responsible citizens,” the minister said.

The minister also cautioned the public against attending mass gatherings, whether in Brunei or elsewhere. He warned members of the Tabligh group to not attend an upcoming meeting in South Sulawesi, Indonesia from March 19 – 22 2020.

Group activities at Bandarku Ceria suspended
7.07pm | March 14, 2020

Clarifying an earlier statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that Bandarku Ceria will continue, but that all group activities such as walkathons, runs, etc will be suspended until further notice.

The capital will still be car-free on Sunday mornings and the public can participate in individual recreational activities. Vendors will still be permitted to operate during Bandarku Ceria.



16th session of Legislative Council to end early
11.32am | March 14, 2020

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the speaker has announced that the 16th session of the Legislative Council will conclude today, about a week ahead of schedule.

Debate and discussions on the national agenda will no longer take place, but questions submitted ahead of time will be answered in writing. LegCo members will vote on the government budget later today.



Government restricts public gatherings
9.32pm | March 13, 2020

In a press conference this evening, health minister YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar said that large public gatherings and events will not be allowed, including weddings and sporting events.

The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam said it would suspend matches for the Brunei Super League until further notice. The Brunei Basketball Association announced similar measures to suspend games for the National Basketball League.

His Majesty the Sultan also gave consent to cancel public celebrations for Israk Miraj, which was scheduled to take place on March 22.



COVID-19 tally climbs to 37, five days after first case was announced
8.15pm | March 13, 2020

The Ministry of Health announced 12 news cases of coronavirus infection, bringing Brunei’s national tally to 37.

Thirty-four cases are related to the cluster of people who attended a mass Tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur in early March. Two cases are independent of this cluster, but have recent travel history to Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia.

The latest case, Patient 37, did not attend the event in Kuala Lumpur, but did attend a Tabligh gathering in Brunei on March 5 where several participants of the KL event were present. MoH is still investigating the context of each case.

To date, a total of 523 people have been issued quarantine orders because they had close contact with infected persons.

Since January, 478 laboratory tests for COVID-19 have been conducted, covering 319 people.

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