12 new COVID-19 cases, 37 in total

James Kon

Brunei Darussalam recorded 12 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, which included a two-year-old girl, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 37.

From the new cases, 11 are related to the cluster of the Tabligh religious group who were in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia including the participants’ close contacts.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar made the announcement during a press conference on the updates of COVID-19 in the country at the ministry’s Al-‘Afiah Hall yesterday.

The minister provided details on the new cases, said Case 26 is a local woman aged 46 who is the wife of Case 12.

She did not travel to Kuala Lumpur recently and did not have any signs of infection.

Case 27 is a man aged 21 and the son of Case 12. He did not travel to Kuala Lumpur recently and complained of feeling tired yesterday.

Case 28 is a 25-year-old man, another son of Case 12. He did not travel to Kuala Lumpur recently and did not show any signs of infection.

Case 29 is a 16-year-old male, another son of Case 12. He did not travel to Kuala Lumpur recently and had been coughing and had flu on March 9.

Case 30 is a 13-year-old, the daughter of Case 12. She did not travel to Kuala Lumpur recently and did not have any signs of infection.

Covid-19 Case 31 is a local man aged 64 with a travel history to Indonesia and Malaysia. He travelled to Kuala Lumpur through Labuan on February 17 and continued his journey to Jogjakarta, Indonesia. He returned to Brunei Darussalam through Kuala Lumpur (transit) on March 4 and flew on AirAsia flight AK5175 to Labuan. He had been coughing since March 10.

Case 32 is a local woman aged 25 who is the wife of Case 19. She did not travel to Kuala Lumpur recently and did not show symptoms of infection.

Case 33 is the sibling of Case 13. The 39-year-old did not travel to Kuala Lumpur recently and had no symptoms of the infection.

Case 34 is a two-year-old girl, a relative of Case 13. She did not travel to Kuala Lumpur recently and had no symptoms of infection.

Case 35 is a 60-year-old man who joined the Tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from February 28 to March 3. He flew to New Delhi, India on March 4 with three friends who were also part of the religious gathering in Kuala Lumpur.

He flew back on Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) flight BI874 (seating 27K) on March 11. He had cough and flu yesterday. His friends who are still overseas have been advised to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Case 36 is a local man, 56, who took part in the Tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur. He flew back to the country on March 5 on RB flight BI872 and showed signs of infection which included fever, cough and flu on March 7.

Case 37 is a local man aged 28. He did not join the Tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur. However, he attended a Tabligh gathering on March 5 in one of the member’s premises in the Brunei-Muara District attended by a number of participants from the Tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur.

The MoH said all patients are receiving treatment at the National Isolation Centre and are in stable condition with no signs of fever and breathing without the help of an apparatus.

The ministry is conducting contact tracing for each case. As many as 523 people are under quarantine in accordance to the Infectious Diseases Act Chapter 204.

Meanwhile since the start of the spreading of COVID-19 in early January, 478 laboratory tests have been carried out covering 319 individuals.

The 75 locals who attended the Tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and arrived in Brunei Darussalam have been tested for COVID-19. Eighteen have tested positive, 51 are negative and six are awaiting results.

The 75 are under quarantine at the Sports Village Quarantine Centre or receiving treatment at the National Isolation Centre.

However, 10 locals are still overseas. One is studying in Malaysia, where tests were conducted in Malaysia with the result being negative. Efforts are being carried out to trace the remaining nine.

The total number of locals who attended the Tabligh gathering in Malaysia is 85.

The ministry sought public cooperation to provide accurate information if contacted by officials and to be courteous.

The ministry also urged the public to avoid visiting hospitals or places where contact tracing is carried and also to stay away from crowded areas.

The Health Advice Line has received 700 calls since the first COVID-19 case was detected in Brunei Darussalam on March 9.

Company managements and departments are urged not to send staff for laboratory test screening for COVID-19 without instructions from the MoH.

For information, the public can visit the MoH website at www.moh.gov.bn or contact the Health Advice Line at 148.