Immediate fines on business operators violating health order

James Kon

Owners and operators of business premises found violating the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204) will not be given warning anymore but instead will be immediately issued compound fines starting today.

This was said by Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar during a press conference yesterday.

Appalled by the findings from the recent operations carried out by Health Enforcement Unit officers, the minister said, “Following enforcement patrols and monitoring conducted by the Health Enforcement Unit, the Ministry of Health through the Ops Merati in collaboration with the Royal Brunei Police Force and the Ministry of Home Affairs during the first 10 weeks of the reduction of social distancing measures, detected 143 offences under the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204), of which 13 of the premises were issued compound fines.”

The offences, he said included, “workers not wearing face masks when preparing and handling food, and staff of barbershops without face masks, no temperature checks and no social distancing measures.

“The public needs to continue to comply with all the directives issued by the government, as well as practise social responsibilities by maintaining personal hygiene, practising proper cough and sneeze etiquette, wearing face masks in crowded public places and if feeling unwell, not to go to public places and attend social gatherings.”

The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the situation of the COVID-19 outbreak at the national as well as regional and global level and carry out ongoing risk assessments to consider further mitigation measures, the minister added.

“If the outbreak shows alarming signs, the Ministry of Health will not hesitate to tighten the social distancing measures required to control the outbreak.”

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR