No new COVID-19 cases in Brunei; seven test positive again

James Kon & Rokiah Mahmud

Despite having no new confirmed cases in Brunei Darussalam yesterday, seven have been re-admitted to the National Isolation Centre (NIC) after testing positive for the COVID-19 again, despite recovering from the virus initially. This brings the total number of patients who recovered and tested positive again to eight.

Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, there are no new cases of COVID-19 infection in the country. Therefore, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Brunei Darussalam remain at

136 cases,” Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said during the press conference.

One more case treated at the NIC has recovered and was allowed to return home, bringing the total number of recovery to 107.

The minister said the first patient who was discharged was admitted back to the NIC last Sunday after showing several symptoms of the virus. The patient’s family members also underwent re-swabbing and re-testing, but produced negative results.

The minister said the Ministry of Health (MoH) will conduct follow-up testing for people who have recovered.

“The Ministry of Health is currently implementing the policy of carrying out follow-up testing for people who have recovered and they need to carry out self-isolation for 14 days at their homes.

“According to the observation, another seven patients who recovered were found to be positive again for virus SARS-CoV-2. All of them have been re-admitted to the National Isolation Centre for further investigation,” the minister said.

“Family contacts of the recovered patients who tested positive again were required to carry out laboratory tests and undergo quarantine for 14 days. The steps are taken as precautionary measures while further investigations are being conducted as more information on the infections are received.

“As we already know, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a new virus discovered in early January this year, where much remains to be known about the infection. The MoH is cooperating with several countries in the region to better understand the profile and features of the infection, including the method of infection, how long the virus can last in the human body and whether a person who has been cured can be infected again or can infect others if the virus is still detectable.”

Similar cases have been reported in countries such as the People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Malaysia.

The eight patients who have been re-admitted to the National Isolation Centre, he said, “are not included in the number of cases still active at the National Isolation Centre. At present, there are 28 active cases still being treated at the centre. Of these, two are still in critical condition and both require heart-lung machine (ECMO) and respiratory assistance. Meanwhile, the rest are in stable condition.”

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham also revealed that 112 individuals are undergoing quarantine in accordance with the Infectious Diseases Act, Chapter 204, while 2,369 individuals have completed their quarantine.

Meanwhile, as of yesterday, 1,451 individuals ended their mandatory self-isolation period in the monitoring centres provided by the government upon returning to Brunei Darussalam.

The minister also highlighted that in the past 24 hours, 283 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of laboratory tests conducted since January 2020 to 10,167 tests.

According to healthinfo.gov.bn, the breakdown of cases shows 109 in the Brunei-Muara District, 23 in the Belait District and four in the Tutong District. There are no cases in the Temburong District.

For information, visit the official website of the MoH at www.moh.gov.bn or contact the Health Advice Line at 148 (operating 24 hours) or through the web application healthinfo.gov.bn.