Lyna Mohamad & Daniel Lim
Chinese New Year was ushered in the Sultanate adhering to the Ministry of Health (MoH) directives.
Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar told a recent press conference, “Lion dance troupes are permitted to go to individual houses. However, there must not be any physical contact, and each host must provide the BruHealth code for troupe members. This will help us to carry out contact tracing, if any transmission occurs.
“Troupe members will also need to wear gloves while performing, and use hand sanitisers after each house visit.”
The minister stressed on the need to adhere to the precautionary measures for COVID-19, saying, “Although Brunei Darussalam currently does not have any local transmissions, we cannot be complacent. We need to be vigilant against COVID-19 infections.”
The directives apply to house visits by friends and acquaintances.
Lion dance performances were allowed on a small scale at private properties and businesses seeking blessings during the festivities.
At the Teng Yun Temple in the capital, a lion dance was witnessed with the performance only engaged in the blessings ritual on Friday.
In the Belait District, meanwhile, only a fraction of lion dance troupes conducted performances at residences.
The performances and celebrations were carried out with health and safety in mind as the Chung Lian School lion dance troupe performed across the district with four Lions split into two groups.
Belait District Basketball Association Chairman Koo Kong Loi and Chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Belait District Loo Soon Nin invited the dance troupe to perform at their residence to ring in the new year.
The Chinese community across the nation will continue to celebrate the Lunar New Year until the 15th day, which is marked by the Lantern Festival or Chap Goh Mei.