Taking into consideration that Brunei entered its endemic phase about a year ago and the high level of immunity of its residents via vaccination and hybrid immunity, Chapter 204 of the Infectious Diseases Act will no longer be used as a guideline to require COVID-19-positive cases to undergo mandatory self-isolation.
This was shared 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 a press conference yesterday, citing that the changes will take effect on February 15.
Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew added that the changes are in line with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO). “With these changes, those found positive through antigen rapid testing (ART) are encouraged to upload their ART results onto the BruHealth app. But the Quarantine Order will no longer be used and will be replaced by Advice for Self-Isolation.”
“The purple code in the BruHealth app is still maintained. However, the code will be used for verification and medical certificate purposes only and not for mandatory self-isolation,” the minister said.
As the current positive cases are required to undergo mandatory self-isolation for five to 10 days, subject to ART test results after the fifth day, the minister said the changes would have only COVID-19 positive cases to undergo self-isolation for a period of three to five days only.
“Anyone who chooses to self-isolate can end self-isolation after the fifth day or any time they become negative after the third day,” he added.
Close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases are no longer required to undergo self-isolation. The red code in the BruHealth app will no longer be applied. However, individuals showing signs of infection or symptoms are advised to carry out ART.
Also no longer required is physical distancing according to the width of a large-sized prayer mat for obligatory congregational prayers and Friday prayers in mosques as well as using personal prayer mats.
“With these changes, the title ‘Health Protocol for COVID-19’ is replaced with ‘Health Advisory for COVID-19’,” added the minister.
The minister also outlined that the Ministry of Health will be updating control measures at government and private hospitals and clinics, where visitors are no longer required to carry out ART before visiting warded patients. The wearing of face masks is only required in
Patients admitted to the hospital for treatment, and those infected with COVID-19 treated in dedicated isolation wards will continue to conduct ART.