Stiff penalty for Infectious Disease Act violations

Azlan Othman

The Ministry of Health (MoH) informed that with the consent of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, health officials under the MoH and the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) are also empowered to impose compound fines of up to BND5,000 on any individual found violating instructions under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar announced this at the daily press briefing yesterday.

Stern legal action can also be taken on any individual violating the instructions and can be brought before court and if convicted, can be fined up to BND10,000 or six months’ imprisonment or both.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak was reported in early January 2020, His Majesty’s Government implemented several preventive measures and control to ensure public safety and well-being.

This is supported with the amendment to the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204) which came into effect on January 30, 2020. Some instructions have been issued under Chapter 62 (A) of the Act.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at the press conference yesterday. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI

The MoH said the public is required to comply with the instructions and regulations issued by the MoH to control the COVID-19 spread in the country. Anyone found violating the instruction is committing an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204).

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham also said yesterday no new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country remains at 141.
Meanwhile, 17 individuals are still under quarantine according to the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204) while 2,806 have completed their quarantine and are in a stable condition.

Over the past 24 hours, 264 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus carrying the total number of laboratory tests conducted since January 2020 to 26,195.

Meanwhile, 390,834 members have registered on BruHealth app. For companies and premises, 9,817 premises have registered, while 5,326 business premises have downloaded the PremiseScan application.

Regarding permission to enter premises, offices and buildings for BruHealth app, the ministry has received complaints through Health Advice Line 148 about people with yellow code not allowed to enter these places, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said.

People with green or yellow code are allowed to enter public places. However, there are some exceptions like only green code holders are allowed into mosques to perform the Friday prayers at this time while all colour codes are allowed to enter hospitals and clinics
for treatment.

Owners of premises are also required to conduct body temperature check on all visitors and provide hand sanitiser at the entrances. For information and developments, the public can visit the Ministry of Health website www.moh.gov.bn or call Health Advice Line 148 or through the healthinfo.gov.bn.