Two Malaysians were found to be positive for COVID-19 after exiting Brunei Darussalam. Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Awang Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar, Minister of Health explained the test kits used in Malaysia is similar to the test kits used in the country. Therefore, the Minister of Health continues to remind the public to always be cautious and be responsible in social distancing and non-essential and prohibited gatherings.


One of the Malaysians has been in Brunei Darussalam since February this year, for a three month attachment in the country and departed for Malaysia since the attachment was completed. The other positive patient has been working in Brunei for quite some time and once his service was over, returned home to Malaysia. Upon their return to Malaysia, their COVID-19 swabs were found to be positive. The tests used are similar to the ones in Brunei, which uses PCR or polymerase chain reaction.   The PCR test is very sensitive in detecting the virus, however, it cannot differentiate between live and dead viruses. From communications with Malaysia’s Ministry of Health, it may be from an old infection and the risk that they have contracted the virus from Brunei is still there. The Minister of Health stressed that precautionary measures must be increased as the country has not seen any new cases for almost a month. The Ministry of Health reminds the public on the responsibility of social distancing and prohibited or non-essential gatherings as the concern still exists. People who are at risk are advised to always use facemasks when going out.


From the discussion with Malaysia’s Ministry of Health, it was found that the patient may have been infected about a month ago as the city value is very high. The city threshold for the virus to replicate is if its 30 and above, usually means that it is an old infection. And the value found is higher than 30. What is important is tracing the people that they have been in contact with, who the patients are close with during their time in Brunei. Yang berhormat added that contact tracing is the essence of the efforts made and hopefully within 24 to 48 hours, contact tracing will be completed followed by the swab tests and from there it will be known if there is a spread or limited spread within the contacts.



Source: Radio Television Brunei

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