Brunei among world’s lowest in COVID-19 infection

Hakim Hayat

Brunei Darussalam, as of yesterday, is placed among the bottom 20 in a list of 222 countries with COVID-19 infections, according to a real-time chart provided by Worldometer, a trusted free reference source used by many governments around the world.

The latest data, collected from official reports through local media sources, shows Brunei in 202th place in the world COVID-19 report, among alongside small Island nations such as Fiji, Falkland Islands and Vanuatu. Micronesia is at the bottom of the list, with only one case recorded since the outbreak began.

As of yesterday, Brunei recorded a total of 236 COVID-19 cases, with 95 of them being imported cases.

The last community transmission in Brunei was on May 6, 2020, which makes the country free of any community spread in over a year.

Since the first case was reported on March 9, 2020, Brunei has maintained strict border control and travel regulations, to contain the spread of the virus.

File photo shows aerial view of Bandar Seri Begawan. PHOTO: AFP

The country has also imposed a strict mass gathering ban, in addition to carrying out technology-based contact tracing and rigorous quarantine measures to keep locally-transmitted cases under control.

The Brunei government kicked off the National Vaccination Programme on April 3, with over 30,000 people COVID-19 inoculated as of May 20.

Through a whole of Government approach and coupled with its citizens and residents’ adherence to health and safety regulations during the pandemic, Brunei has systematically lifted restrictions through phases and is now operating close to normalcy, with businesses opened and an easing of mass gathering restrictions.

Despite the success, Brunei still maintains its strict border control policy and imposes rigorous testing and isolation procedures for incoming travellers who are approved by the government.

Meanwhile, the chart shows that the US, India and Brazil are in the top three countries with the most infected cases, as of yesterday. Brunei’s neighbour Malaysia, which is batting a third wave, is in 42nd place, with a total close to 500,000 cases, while Singapore, which is also seeing a spike in community cases is in 105th place, with more than 60,000 cases.