Sultan to deliver special address on COVID-19 tonight
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izaddin Waddaulah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam will deliver a special titah on COVID-19 at 8pm tonight. It will be broadcast on television, radio channels and online platforms of state broadcaster Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB).
COVID-19 updates from today’s press conference
Here are highlights from today’s press conference at the Ministry of Health (MoH) with the Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Jaafar and the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah.
- Ministry of Health today confirms 5 new COVID-19 cases in Brunei, bringing the national tally to 83.
- Another COVID-19 patient has recovered and ordered to be quarantined for 7 days at home. This brings the total recovered cases to two.
- Two patients remain in critical condition but are recovering well while six cases require intensive care.
- Case 79 is a 28-year old man, a contact of case 13, who tested negative for the virus during initial tests and later tested positive during his quarantine period.
- Cases 81 and 82 are colleagues to case 69.
- Case 83 is the wife of case 71.
- As of today, as many as 1,633 individuals are undergoing quarantine according to the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204).
- Since the emergence of COVID-19 in early January 2020, a total of 2,699 laboratory tests for COVID-19 have been conducted.
Government lays out interim measures to protect private sector
Interim measures to protect and help sustain local workforce, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and also the welfare of the people are being laid out by the government amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The measures include a 6-month deferment on TAP (Employee Provident Fund) and SCP (Employee Supplementary Contribution) contributions for private sector employees who are earning BND1,500 below starting April 1; Rental discounts for businesses in selected sectors at government owned buildings; 50 per cent tax discount for corporate tax in selected sectors; 15 per cent discount for utility bills for businesses in selected sectors; Extension of I-ready apprentices’ contracts; Duty excise exemption for personal hygiene products and also boosting bandwidth and facilities for online learning platforms in Brunei.
Sultan urges calm and social responsibility amid COVID-19 crisis
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izaddin Waddaulah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a special address to the nation tonight urged the people of Brunei to stand together as a nation to fight the spread of COVID-19 by following government directives such practicing social distancing and maintaining personal hygiene.
His Majesty also advised his people to not panic amid the crisis, and don’t panic buy, as supplies are adequate. His Majesty also warned retailers against hiking prices of goods.
Youth charged for posting chaos inducing video on social media
A local man who uploaded a video on Instagram likely to cause a breach of peace was charged in the Magistrate’s Court today.
Local Mohammad Norhadzrin bin Mohammad Jamain,22, is alleged to have uttered insulting words on the social media platform, likely to cause a breach of peace under Section 19 of the Minor Offences Act, Chapter 30.
While the Ministry of Health has been regularly advising the public to practice social distancing which includes reducing close contact between people to slow down the spread of infections or diseases, the 36-second clip uploaded by the defendant contradicts the advice, the prosecution said in court.