COVID-19 pandemic in Brunei
The COVID-19 pandemic in Brunei is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus spread to Brunei on 9 March 2020, when its first case was confirmed in Tutong[note 1]. Many early cases were linked to Jamek Mosque Sri Petaling in Kuala Lumpur, which held a large Tablighi Jamaat ijtema event at the end of February 2020. Of Brunei's first 50 cases, 45 were related to Jamek Mosque. The pandemic had spread to all districts of Brunei, except in the exclave of Temburong.
|COVID-19 pandemic in Brunei|
Map of districts in Brunei with confirmed COVID-19 cases:
no confirmed cases
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Index case||Tutong[note 1]|
|Arrival date||9 March 2020 (2 months and 19 days)|
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.
On 9 March 2020, the Ministry of Health confirmed that preliminary coronavirus tests had returned positive for a 53-year-old male who had returned from a tabligh (Muslim religious gathering) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 3 March. The patient began to experience symptoms on 7 March, and was eventually moved to the National Isolation Centre in Tutong for treatment. The ministry is following up with the three friends he had travelled with, and with the patient's family members.
On 10 March, the Health Ministry reported five more cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to six. These five individuals were close contacts of the first case and were isolated for treatment at the National Isolation Centre in Tutong.
On 11 March, the Health Ministry reported five new cases, bringing the total number to 11. Three of these individuals had attended the tabligh in Kuala Lumpur on 3 March.
On 12 March, the Health Ministry confirmed 14 new cases, bringing the total number to 25. Ten of these cases were linked to the same Islamic missionary gathering in Kuala Lumpur that the first confirmed patient had attended. Three of the cases were close contacts of the confirmed patients while the last case was a 64-year-old man who had been to Kuala Lumpur and Cambodia.
On 14 March, the Health Ministry reported that Brunei had a total of 40 cases of the coronavirus.
On 22 March, Brunei confirmed 88 cases.
On 23 March, Brunei confirmed 3 new cases, bringing the total number to 91.
On 24 March, the Health Ministry confirmed 13 new cases, the highest since the first case on 9 March, bringing the total number to 104.
On 25 March, Brunei confirmed 109 cases.
On 26 March, Brunei confirmed 114 cases, with 5 recoveries to-date.
On 27 March, Brunei confirmed 115 cases, with 11 recoveries to-date. In the evening, the first case of death occurs.
On 5 May, one new COVID-19 case has been confirmed, bringing the total active case to 139. On the next day, 2 related cases were detected involving the case detected on the previous day.
In late January, Brunei announced entry restrictions for people coming from China. Starting February 1, temperature screening was implemented on entry to the country. Royal Brunei Airlines reduced flights to China.
On 14 March, the Brunei Ministry of Health ordered 638 people to go into quarantine. The Ministry has also stepped up efforts to track more close contacts of positive cases.
On 15 March, the Bruneian Government barred all citizens and foreign residents from leaving as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Ministry of Health has also banned mass gatherings including weddings and sporting events. In addition the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam, the Tutong District Amateur Football Association League, and the Brunei Basketball Association suspended all matches and games.
On 16 March, the Ministry of Religious Affairs announced a one-week closure for all mosques in the country, from 17 March until 23 March, and the Friday prayers which coincided with this time were suspended. However, the adhan or Islamic prayer calls would still be conducted. The Bruneian Government also announced that the Temburong Bridge would be opened on the following day, earlier than scheduled, to ease travelling to the Temburong District exclave after the government announced outbound travel ban. Previously, commuters have to drive through the Malaysian Limbang District or take passenger ferry services. At initial opening, the bridge was opened from 6 am to 10 pm and traffic is only allowed for Brunei-registered vehicles. However, on the first day of opening, citizens were seen flocking to Temburong, taking advantage of the bridge for pleasure purposes. The government then changed the opening time of the bridge to 6 am to 6 pm.
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