Brunei takes steps to screen visitors to country at airport

James Kon

Amid growing concerns of the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has increased precautionary measures such as the reintroduction of body temperature checks for visitors to the country, especially those from cities in the People’s Republic of China.

The use of thermal scanning at the Brunei International Airport began on January 21.

Health declaration forms have also been reissued for flights arriving from cities in China.

These latest measures were announced yesterday by the MoH which also stated that at present, Brunei Darussalam has no cases of severe respiratory infections related to the cases in Wuhan.

On January 11, the Chinese authorities confirmed the discovery of a previously unknown type of coronavirus which is now known as 2019-nCoV.

As of 1am on January 23, 554 cases were confirmed in China where 17 people died from it.

Several regions in China have also reported cases of the infection, including Taiwan and Macau.

Infection from the coronavirus has been confirmed in other countries, including Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

All cases reported outside of China had a history of travel to Wuhan within 14 days. Meanwhile, there have been unverified reports of 2019-nCoV cases in several countries.

Currently, the cause of the outbreak is still unknown and the World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with the affected countries to further understand the nature of the illness and the measures to contain it.

At the same time, there are also reports on the transmission of the virus from human to human.

The MoH is advising the public to avoid or postpone any non-essential trips to places where there are known cases of the 2019-nCoV infection.

As a precautionary measure, the public is advised to avoid coming into contact with sick livestock and poultry as well as consuming raw or improperly cooked meat.

Good habits should also be maintained, such as the regular washing of hands with water and soap; using masks during a bout of cold or flu; covering the mouth with tissue while coughing or sneezing; and disposing of soiled tissues after use.

The public is urged to seek treatment if feeling unwell and to avoid direct contact with those who display signs of fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

The MoH will continue to maintain high levels of preparedness and work closely with the WHO, as well as other countries in the region, to control the situation.

For more information, contact the Darussalam line at 123, or visit www.moh.gov.bn.