Avoid discrimination, says minister

Azlan Othman

The COVID-19 outbreak has shed light on the aspect of social solidarity in the community which enables people to stand together for the sake of the nation.

“It tests the real value of the society,” Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar told a press conference when asked about public’s perception on discrimination against people infected with COVID-19.

“In the beginning, there were discriminations against the Chinese or those who resembled Chinese as the virus originated from Wuhan, China. (But) it is not the time for discrimination,” the minister said.

“Even some of the Tabligh family members who form the COVID-19 cluster are also discriminated. We pray for their well-being and betterment in life. We will grow strong as a nation after this. The World Health Organization (WHO) is also surveying on how the community reacts to it.”

MoH in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) is conducting a survey to seek the public’s perspective and knowledge on COVID-19 in Brunei Darussalam.

Asked about the outcome of the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office Virtual Meeting, the minister said, “It is a sharing session on the actions taken to improve measures and what WHO has to say to tackle this pandemic in this region as they want to see the bigger picture.

“They are quite happy with most countries and their capabilities in testing and preparation of frontliners especially in their personal protective equipment (PPE) preparations,” the minister said.

Speaking on the new National Virology Reference Laboratory in the capital, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said it can make up to 1,000 tests in 24 hours. As of yesterday, 300 foreign workers have been tested.

“All employers and employees gave their cooperation and we will continue to carry out surveillance in the next few weeks.”