Graduate student Abdul Khaaliq bin Haji Abdul Razak from Kampong Masin was among the group of students who completed the 14-day mandatory quarantine and allowed to reunite with their families yesterday.
Abdul Khaliq flew from the United States (US) where he was on a 12-month internship, to London where he boarded a Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) rescue flight.
He thanked the Brunei Government for its repatriation efforts, and also expressed gratitude to the hotel staff, medical officers and volunteers at Al-Afiah Hotel.”The hospitality was very good. They checked on us every day, and provided us with delicious meals three times a day,” he said.
In the capital, Amni Izzati binti Haji Yahya completed her quarantine at The Brunei Hotel. A second-year student doing her degree in Information Technology specialising in Cloud Computing at the Asia Pacific University in Kuala Lumpur, she arrived in Brunei on March 29 via an early morning flight.
She was transferred to The Brunei Hotel with eight others from The Core at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) where they stayed for three days upon arrival in Brunei.
On her quarantine experience, “Apart from the three daily meals, we were given daily essentials such as toiletries, towels, detergents, toothpaste and toothbrushes,” she said.
“I spent most of the time learning new skills on YouTube, and polishing my programming skills for my next semester.” She expressed her gratitude for the continuous assistance and hospitality provided throughout her stay in both accommodations.
Lieutenant Irza binti Tuah from Kampong Kuala Lurah began her quarantine immediately on arrival from London, for which she and a few others were sent to Al-Afiah Hotel.
A military officer attached to the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN), Irza was thankful that she managed to complete her eight-month engineering course at HMS Sultan, Portsmouth, just before leaving the United Kingdom (UK). Speaking on her experience, Irza said, “It’s not that bad being alone in a room, as we had Wifi access, programmes and movies to watch on a laptop. “Food was served three times a day, except for Sunday, where it would be brunch and dinner. The room was comfortable, and the frontliners were always there to attend to our needs.”
Mohd Omar bin Sulaiman of Kampong Sengkarai, Tutong found the first few days of isolation difficult. “Worst of all was the feeling of uncertainty. Did I test positive? Would I see my family again? Lots of questions crept into my mind, but talking to my family members and friends helped ease these feelings,” he said.
“Performing my prayers and reading Al-Quran really helped me to get through each day, and Alhamdulillah, I made it through the 14 days. The daily check-up calls by the frontliners at the hotel also helped a lot.”
Mohd Omar thanked the Brunei Government, the Ministry of Health (MoH), Brunei’s diplomatic representatives in Turkey, Moscow and the UK, the Brunei House in London and RB for helping him to make the return journey home.
Siti Naqilah binti Haji Jali, who completed her quarantine at The Brunei Hotel, expressed her gratitude to the Brunei Government for providing a return passage to students abroad.
She praised the hard work, sacrifice and commitment of the frontliners and hotel staff “who took care of us from the airport to the hotel, until the completion of our quarantine.
“My thanks for the donations and relentless support provided to us, as well as to the food vendors who supplied us with food and other contributions.”
She said that the 14 days spent in isolation were mostly quiet and peaceful.
“We were also given Zikir booklets and copies of the Surah Yaasiin to fill up our spare time. Thank you, everyone, for everything,” she added.