Lyna Mohamad & Rokiah Mahmud
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) through its foreign missions is continuously monitoring the development of COVID-19 outbreak. The role of MFA along with Brunei foreign mission is to ensure the safety, health and welfare of Brunei citizens and residents.
This was stated by Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof at a press conference at the Ministry of Health yesterday.
The minister said that according to information given by Brunei foreign missions from March 19-22, more Bruneians are coming back to the Sultanate.
“Until today, the number of those abroad – and registered with MFA – is 806. There are 1,534 students and Brunei foreign mission officers and their family members come to about 550. Therefore, about 2,890 Bruneians citizens and residents are accounted for.”
Asked about precautionary measures taken by Brunei missions, the minister said starting 10 days ago they implemented several measures including business continuity plan, temperature checks and sanitisation.
Asked about repatriation plan of government employees in hotspots like the United States (US), the minister said he recently had a video conference with all Brunei missions. The heads of missions are aware of their roles and will ensure the safe return of Bruneians to the country.
The minister advised Bruneians in regions with no Brunei foreign office, consular or embassy, to contact the nearest Brunei foreign mission and register themselves by visiting www.mfa.gov.bn. In case of an emergency, they can contact MFA’s hotline at 8716001 or contact Brunei foreign mission hotline in their countries.