Teamwork among ministries, government agencies vital in managing COVID-19

Rokiah Mahmud

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 almost three weeks ago in Brunei Darussalam, everyone has played a significant role in managing and handling the disease.

Alhamdulillah, with the strong cooperation and teamwork from the staff at the Ministry of Health (MoH), as well as the other government agencies that we work closely with to curb COVID-19 since January, everyone played an important part,” said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar, in a press conference at the MoH’s Al-‘Afiah Hall yesterday.

“Since last January, several brainstorming sessions have taken place with several ministers. Everyone knows how to cope with this situation. They also understand the limitations faced by the MoH. From the very outset, all government agencies had laid out plans now being carried out step-by-step.”

The minister also praised the excellent teamwork by the staff at the MoH “as their contributions played a major role in managing the COVID-19 situation. Last October, the Ministry of Health was assessed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on how the Sultanate would able to address a disaster like COVID-19.

“This is how our agencies like the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), along with several ministries like the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) and Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) played their roles in addressing the situation.

“This is our first encounter with an infectious disease on such a large scale, so naturally, everyone was taken by surprise. This disease is not only affecting our nation, but the rest of the world. We all underestimated the adverse effects of the disease, but we are learning from it, so that the next time we will be better prepared.”