Restaurant, gym in hot water over health rule violations

Azlan Othman

Two cases have been brought to court, including a restaurant and a gymnasium flouting rules and regulations, as well as a person who violated the quarantine law.

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

He also touched on another case hearing involving an alleged assault on a doctor, where the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Last Saturday, several restaurants in the Brunei-Muara District were found in violation of social distancing measures during an inspection conducted by personnel of the Health Enforcement Unit under the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The operation, codenamed Ops Merati, was carried out at eateries in Gadong, Kiulap, Serusop, Berakas, Menglait, Kiarong, Batu Bersurat and Batu Satu.

Some of the businesses were found to have ignored the health regulations, including not displaying the BruHealth QR code, not observing social distancing at counters and tables, not mandating staff to wear face masks and gloves, and allowing over 30 per cent capacity at the premises. Stern warnings were issued to the management of the eateries, while the violations recorded for follow-up inspections.

The operation was aimed at ensuring that all restaurants abide by the guidelines set by the MoH to stem the tide of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country and reminding customers to be vigilant in using the BruHealth app while adhering to the social distancing rule.

Also on Saturday, a 44-year-old local man denied charges at the Magistrate’s Court of intimidation, negligence and verbal threats to a health officer.

He pleaded not guilty to committing three offences under Section 506 for criminal intimidation, Section 269 for negligently committing an act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life, and Section 352 for assault.

Police investigations revealed that the defendant threatened to hurt a care worker at a welfare home on February 10. On April 4, he negligently committed an act knowing that he could have spread the infection of a dangerous disease to others around him, while on May 3, he assaulted a Ministry of Health personnel by verbally threatening him while armed with a pocket knife.