On Wednesday, 11 March, the Ministry of Health released a statement addressing a positive COVID-19 case that was detected in Brunei
In the statement, the MOH said that the International Health Regulations (IHR) Focal Point (FP) Brunei has informed IHR FP Malaysia of the positive COVID-19 case in Brunei who had a travel history of attending a tabligh assembly at Jamek Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, from 27 February to 1 March 2020.
"The tabligh assembly involved roughly 10,000 people from various countries including Malaysia. The participants from Malaysia is believed to be more than 5,000 people. All state health departments are currently carrying out further investigations on this in their own states," the statement read.
The Bruneian man's COVID-19 infection was discovered after he returned to his home country and became Brunei's first confirmed case
According to the Bruneian Health Ministry, the patient is a 53-year-old retiree.
Malaysiakini reported that he had gone to Kuala Lumpur on 27 February to attend the religious gathering and returned to Brunei on 3 March via Miri, Sarawak by taking AirAsia Flight, AK5651.
The man, however, returned to Miri for a day trip on 6 March.
He started showing symptoms on 8 March and was confirmed positive on 9 March.
The MOH has now advised people who attended the four-day tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling mosque to get tested for COVID-19
Following the COVID-19 case in Brunei, director general of health, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said that the ministry is advising all tabligh participants:
- If you are experiencing symptoms, you are advised to contact the nearest district health office or state Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC).
- If you are not experiencing any symptoms, practise social distancing of at least one metre from other people for at least 14 days from the last date you attended the assembly.
You can either contact the Virtual Health Advisory (a collaboration between MOH and DoctorOnCall) via the MOH website, for further advice.
The contact numbers of the district health office and CPRC are listed below:
In the statement, the ministry said that it calls on the tabligh assembly attendees for their cooperation to ensure the COVID-19 infections do not continue to spread within the community.
Additionally, the MOH statement stressed these points:
- All mass gatherings that involve groups of people be postponed to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19;
- If you are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, you are advised to not attend any programmes that involve groups of people or crowded places, including religious activities;
- Individuals with symptoms are advised to practise social distancing of at least one metre while meeting with other individuals;
- Do not travel in groups to other countries that are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, and
- Malaysians who are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory tract infection should not visit other places in Malaysia during the school holidays.
Meanwhile, another 20 new cases were recorded in Malaysia today.
Following which, a doctor at Hospital Serdang took to Facebook to share the work that goes on in screening tents to remind people of the healthcare workers dealing with the added stress of the outbreak: