Random COVID-19 tests for foreign workers

Izah Azahari

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar yesterday announced that the ministry would conduct further monitoring on the spread of the infection in Brunei, particularly among migrant workers.

During the daily press conference, the minister said the Ministry of Health (MoH) will collaborate with the Labour Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) in doing random testing among migrant workers, especially with current statistics showing that foreigners constitute 25 out of 135, or 18.5 per cent of the COVID-19 cases in the Sultanate.

“Selected employers will be contacted to bring the workers to undergo the laboratory COVID-19 test free,” he said. “Their cooperation is needed, in helping the government to curb the spread of the disease in the country.”

The minister explained that the few thousand workers who entered the Sultanate prior the border closure will be their priority, before the test is extended to other foreign workers.

“We are also carrying out a sampling for the common cold, where the public can go to the Flu Centre in Berakas and Pengkalan Batu health centres,” he said.

“Even though they have not travelled outside the country, we are also doing random sampling from there, as part of the monitoring strategies.”

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham also added that the random testing would be conducted in accordance with the advice of the Labour Department.