COVID-19 cases near 15,000 mark

James Kon & Rokiah Mahmud

Brunei Darussalam yesterday recorded 69 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 14,840. Forty-six of the cases are from three existing clusters, Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said at the daily press conference yesterday.

No new clusters have been detected while two import cases were reported, both arriving from Jakarta onboard flight Royal Brunei BI736 on November 19.

The minister said investigations into 21 cases are ongoing to ascertain their sources of infection.

Eight clusters – Mamih Café Cluster, 5214 Cluster, 6987 Cluster, 9483 Cluster, 11299 Cluster, 11554 Cluster, 11702 Cluster and 12536 Cluster – have been closed, bringing the number of active clusters to 134.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said, “Seventy cases recovered today, bringing the number of recoveries to 14,280. Meanwhile, 461 cases remain active.”

“Four Category 5 cases are receiving treatment at the intensive care unit, with artificial ventilation assistance, and one case requires additional heart-lung machine (ECMO) assistance. One Category 4 case requires oxygen assistance and is being closely monitored.”

Over the past 24 hours, 4,901 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of laboratory tests conducted since January 2020 to 601,399.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin at the daily press conference. PHOTO: JAMES KON

Under the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, 339,262 individuals (or 78.9 per cent of the populace) have been fully vaccinated as of November 24, while 402,072 (or 93.5 per cent of the populace) have received the first dose.

On November 24 alone, 3,052 were immunised against the virus.

The minister said the Mobile Vaccination Clinic will be set up at the Muara Health Centre from 9am to noon today, and from 9am to 2.30pm on Sunday. This is specifically for residents from Mukim Serasa, Mukim Mentiri and its surrounding areas who are scheduled to get their second dose, as well as residents who are 18 and above who have not yet been inoculated.

Local residents keen on getting the shot can walk in with their identification card or passport, Bru-HIMS card/number (if available), and their COVID-19 vaccination book (second dose recipients).

Individuals requiring transport to the health centre can inform the village head, while those unable to make it to the health centre due to medical reasons or mobility difficulty can register with their village head to have the inoculation carried out at home.

Meanwhile, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said no cases have yet been recorded of government employees testing COVID-19 positive through the antigen rapid test (ART) kit, which is required of them twice monthly. However, in the private sector, several cases tested positive after performing the ART.

“All parties is required to conduct the ART as part of their work culture and responsibility not only in protecting themselves, but those around them. Testing for COVID-19 needs to be done as regularly as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, no violations were detected under Operasi Peralihan on Wednesday, during the movement restriction hours of 10pm to 4am.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin also attended the press conference.