His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office in a sabda stressed the whole of nation approach towards vital national issues such as tackling the Zika virus infection, whereby all levels of the society and individuals can together be responsible in assisting the government’s efforts to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes from spreading uncontrollably.

His Royal Highness as the Chairman of the National Disaster Council underlined that the involvement and participation of the community is the key to the efficacy of efforts to maintain and control the spread of the Zika virus infection in the country. His Royal Highness made the sabda at the National Disaster Council Special Meeting 2016 at the Prime Minister’s Office. Upon arrival, His Royal Highness was greeted by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs as Standing Co-Deputy Chairman of the National Disaster Council, and Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi, Minister of Health as Co-Deputy Chairman of the National Disaster Council. The meeting commenced with the reading of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat led by Awang Haji Adanan bin Hj Ahmad, Head Religious Teacher of the Fire and Rescue Department.

The Minister of Home Affairs in his welcoming speech expressed gratitude for the leadership and wisdom of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in consenting to the establishment of the Multisectoral Task Force in tackling the Zika virus infection. The establishment of the team portrayed the Monarch’s care and attention for the safety and well-being of his subjects.

His Royal Highness in his sabda said the establishment of the Multisectoral Task Force portrayed the care and attention of His Majesty towards the well-being of the country’s citizens and residents. His Majesty’s far-sightedness on the matter, His Royal Highness reiterated, is absolutely accurate, more so that the impact of the Zika virus infection is not only confined to individual health, but also has the potential to affect the country’s social and economic situation.

His Royal Highness in his sabda also stressed on the need to evaluate on how far the country has successfully created and instils the ‘preparedness culture’ among government institutions, education and the private sector in the country, especially the public. This includes reviewing and updating public action plans in its existing form and content, if it is not enough to cover incidents such as the Zika virus infection and the likes as a procedure source of reference for the public.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Heath in a briefing touched in the efforts implemented, particularly the ‘Preparedness Plan for the Prevention and Control of Zika Virus Disease’ in the country. The Multisectoral Task Force to tackle the Zika virus infection, Yang Berhormat added, has held six meetings since its establishment.

The National Disaster Council which was chaired by His Royal Highness heard a briefing on Zika virus infection situation at the global and regional level as well as the risk assessment for Brunei Darussalam, especially on the country’s preparedness plan to prevent, detect and control the Zika virus infection. The meeting also heard the proposal to review and update the Strategic National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction, SNAP, 2012-2025; and for the setting up of the Disaster Management Strategic Framework for Brunei Darussalam, including organising the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise, ARDEX, from the 28th of November until 1st of December in the country.

Source: Radio Television Brunei