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Early Endemic Phase extended, movement restriction shortened

Izah Azahari

The Early Endemic Phase under the COVID-19 National Recovery Plan Framework will be extended for another month starting January 15 to February 14 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.

This was announced by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah during yesterday’s press conference, adding that it is an update of the guidelines from the COVID-19 Steering Committee during the Endemic Phase that was first announced on December 12, 2021.

The minister announced that the movement restriction implemented during Operasi Peralihan will also be extended until Monday, February 14. The stay-at-home directive will be shortened from midnight to 4am.

“This extension of the Early Endemic Phase is made in consideration of the recent rise in COVID-19 infections,” said the minister.

“The Government of His Majesty will continue to monitor the spread of the virus, and will do its best to ensure that appropriate measures are taken in the interest of the well-being of the country’s citizens and residents.”

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah during the press conference. PHOTO: JAMES KON

He added that the extension will also allow more time for the government to ensure that infection cases as well as bed occupancy rates at isolation centres remain low, along with increasing the coverage of vaccine booster doses, and subsequently, for the provision of vaccinations for children aged five to 11.

“The government is also grateful to the public for their receptiveness to the booster dose vaccination,” said the minister, adding that this is made possible with the cooperation of all parties, especially citizens and residents of Brunei who have worked together in complying with health guidelines, including their continued support to the government’s efforts in jointly shouldering their respective responsibilities.

“The government once again extends its appreciation to all for their collective efforts during the second wave of the COVID-19 in the country,” said the minister.

He also reminded the public to not be complacent and to continue to adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as physical distancing, ensuring venue capacity limits, wearing of face masks, maintaining cleanliness, and mandatory use of the BruHealth app, while the use of antigen rapid test (ART) prior to entering premises is encouraged.

“For those who have not been vaccinated or have not completed their vaccination yet, it is advisable to do so immediately to preserve the safety, security and well-being of our nation,” said the minister.

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