Minister urges Tabligh participants to come forward

James Kon

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said, “The individuals who returned from a Tabligh assembly in Kuala Lumpur held a meeting for one day, and we are still tracing those who attended the event,” during a press conference yesterday.

“We urge those who were there to come forward.”

The participants of a Tabligh gathering on March 5 have been asked to contact the Ministry of Health (MoH)’s Health Advice Line at 148, after one of them tested for COVID-19.

The local man, aged 28, who attended the recent Tabligh gathering in the Brunei-Muara Disrict, is COVID-19 Case 37. He was not present at the Tabligh assembly in Kuala Lumpur, but the recent meeting was attended by several individuals who participated in the four-day assembly from February 29 to March 3.

When asked about how the current health system would cope with the growing COVID-19 cases, the minister said, “At the moment, we are mobilising extra staff, and because of that we have to curtail or cease certain procedures, surgeries and clinics. If we need to mobilise additional staff, then we will do so.

“Any country’s health system, including Brunei Darussalam’s, is bound to be strained, unless we can control the spread. That’s why we are aggressively identifying the contacts, to ensure that our health system is able to cope with the situation.”

He also assured that it was still “alright to go out to the cinema or gym; however, be socially responsible and practise good personal hygiene. If you are not well, don’t go. Don’t put other people at risk.”

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at the press conference yesterday. PHOTO: SIM Y H