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Brunei
Monday, August 15, 2022
23.7 C
Brunei
Monday, August 15, 2022
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    Minister addresses public concern

    Izah Azahari

    Focussing on new daily numbers and active cases is not productive as some people might fear leaving their homes even to seek treatment for illnesses.

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

    The Ministry of Health (MoH) stopped releasing daily case numbers since June 22 since the Sultanate is in the Endemic Phase considering the high rate of immunity with the COVID-19 vaccination programme and previous infections.

    The minister said daily cases do not accurately reflect the impact on the nation’s healthcare system. He said the number of cases in Categories 4 and 5 and vaccination rate are more useful.

    “Therefore, the MoH will focus on the numbers in Categories 4 and 5 as well as the vaccination rate. The ministry will continue with the weekly press conference,” said the minister.

    Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar and Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Dr Ang Swee Hui at the press conference. PHOTO: JAMES KON

    Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham also advised the public to upload antigen rapid test (ART) results regardless if it is positive or negative on the BruHealth app as it helps MoH monitor the infection in the Sultanate.

    “It is estimated that at least 300,000 ART are done every week in Brunei but the results uploaded to BruHealth is much lower,” said the minister.

    Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said the government not only provides one, two or three doses but also the fourth shot for those with non-communicable disease (NCD) or with lowered immunity.

    The minister also said the government has acquired a large number of anti-viral drugs as the Sultanate wishes to move forward and do not want the people to feel afraid or isolated from the rest of the world.

    He said like most viruses, COVID-19 will not disappear especially with mutations. The minister said the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in 2021 is 54 while deaths from other causes were 1,623.

    “There are more things to be addressed such as cancer, heart diseases and diabetes. Focus needs to be shifted to these,” said the minister.

    The minister said the country is not experiencing another wave of infection but is still in the same wave with rising infections.

    He also said infection among students cannot be identified at schools or anywhere else since students are still required to conduct ART screenings three times a week. “We are in the Endemic Phase, these individuals could have been infected from anywhere.”

    Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham urged the public to continue to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and those with severe symptoms to consult a doctor to find out if they can take anti-viral medicine.

    The minister also urged the public not to spread fake news and cooperate to tackle this pandemic together, even during endemic time.

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