Random COVID-19 testing for school employees

Syazwani Hj Rosli

The Ministry of Health (MoH) will conduct random laboratory testing for SARS-CoV-2 on 1,600 school employees, during the two-week period in the first phase of the de-escalation plan.

During the second phase, the tests will be extended to the frontliners and staff at childcare centres, pre-schools and elderly care centres. “They will be tested at random, by selecting a few from each side,” said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar.

“Within these two weeks, we have planned the test for a total of 1,600 employees. We’ll take it from there, and in the following two weeks when primary schools will be further re-opened, we will carry out more tests.”

When asked whether the current method of nasal swabbing would be changed to saliva testing as in several other countries, the minister responded, “Brunei will still continue using the current method, as it is the gold standard for the World Health Organization (WHO) and internationally.

“If we are certain that the other method’s sensitivity and specificity is as good as what we are currently doing, then we will change it. If it isn’t as good, then there is no point in changing it”.