Public urged to be honest with BruHealth app

James Kon

The public is urged to be extra cautious and truthful when answering their health status in the BruHealth app to obtain the health code to enter and exit business premises. If the answer is not true, the offender can be charged under the Infectious Diseases Act.

This was stated by Acting Senior Special Duties Officer at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Rudy bin Haji Harun, a coordinator of the BruHealth app in an interview with the media yesterday.

There are five separate Health Codes. Green code – Healthy and Safe (users are allowed to enter business premises or participate in activities); Yellow code – Mild risk, please take extra precautions (users can still enter business premises or participate in activities but with extra caution. Users are also advised to avoid confined and crowded places); Red code – Individuals with influenza-like symptoms or have a travel history or contact with a positive patient (users cannot enter business premises or participate in any activities); Blue code – Recovered patient and still undergoing the 14-day quarantine period (users cannot enter business premises or participate in any activities); and Purple code – Confirmed COVID-19 patient (users cannot enter business premises or participate in any activities).

The Acting Senior Special Duties Officer likened it when a patient meets a doctor.

“The doctor asks you a question and you don’t give him wrong answers. The self-assessment is also linked to several background checks. If the individual has been to the flu clinic and seen a doctor in the hospital within past weeks we will know,” he said.

The BruHealth App displayed on a smartphone
Acting Senior Special duties Officer at the Ministry of Health Rudy bin Haji Harun speaks to the media. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI

Rudy said currently the app has no link to a private clinic which will be addressed in the near future. “We do have some exciting developments for the app and it is not COVID-19 related which will be announced in future.”

Rudy said pilot and cabin crew have a special SOP but they still have to comply with the remaining criteria.

Addressing the issue about the delay in obtaining the verification code for the BruHealth app, he said, “On the first day when the app was introduced, a large number was trying to register for BruHealth. Our providers were not ready to cope with the large number. As of last Friday night, we rectified the issue with our providers.

“As the Minister of Health mentioned, the validity period of the verification code has been extended to one week.”

Rudy said 99,280 individuals attempted to register the BruHealth app and only 84,525 managed to successfully register.

“This comprises 31,459 for iOS and 53,066 for Android. The remaining are still trying to get the verification code. My advice is to try again and get registered.”

He encouraged all businesses to register with BruHealth.

Touching on the issue of only phones with Android 7 and above being able to access the BruHealth App, he said, “We set Android 7 as the limit because Android 6.0 no longer gets security updates and is not stable. We need to balance the security aspects and not to compromise the app.”

Rudy said they were looking to solve this by using the web-based healthinfo to carry out self-assessment to get the daily health code.

“But how can we use this to access restaurants? We are hoping to come up with a solution by next week.”

On the development of the app that has cost millions of dollars, Rudy said this is one of the fastest apps that he has coordinated in his career.

“This shows that the government sees this as of top priority,” he said.

“We started in March when we had our first case. Initially we built an internal dashboard to keep track of the medical capacity and medical resources like ventilators, PPE and others. This was followed up with the introduction of healthinfo.gov.bn and then it evolved to the BruHealth app.”

Rudy advised the public to carry out self-assessment daily, be truthful and stay safe.

He said, “The more people use the app, the more accurate the app will become. This will help train its artificial intelligence, we will be able to know the health status of Bruneians and also where artificial intelligence can come up with advice.”

The public can contact 148 or email to [email protected] for inquiries on issues about the app.