Regional ties crucial in combating COVID-19, says minister

Azlan Othman

Brunei Darussalam is sharing information with their regional and global counterparts such as ASEAN, ASEAN+3 (South Korea, China and Japan), and the World Health Organization to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

“As in the case of Limbang case, Malaysia’s Ministry of Health gave the information at the earliest for us to conduct further investigation,” Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said yesterday at the daily press conference at Al-‘Afiah Hall.

A Malaysian patient was found to be positive recently after the 10th day of quarantine following a return from Brunei Darussalam. The Ministry of Health is still investigating the case including carrying out contact tracing and swabbing where to date 11 to 12 contact tracing have been made and all were tested negative.

“We had the ASEAN meeting, ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+United States recently as well as with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Meeting and it shows the unity with the countries involved to control COVID-19,” the minister said.

Asked about how is the Ministry of Health coping with the challenges of obtaining adequate medical supplies and medicine for the country, following high demand of medical supplies and medicine globally, and logistics delay due to COVID-19, the minister said, “In all our meetings – especially ASEAN meetings, what is important during the discussions are that trade which must still be carried out, especially in the supply chain of medicine and medical equipment.

“So far, Alhamdulillah, we have good cooperation from our partners in ASEAN. It’s going on well,” said the minister.