BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – A 40-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday after returning to Brunei from Kuala Lumpur last week.

The man arrived aboard Royal Brunei Airlines flight BI874 on October 16 but only began exhibiting symptoms yesterday.

The Ministry of Health said he is currently receiving treatment at the National Isolation Centre in Tutong.

This brings the total number of coronavirus cases recorded to 148, but only two people are in active treatment while the vast majority (96%) have recovered and been released.

During a press briefing, acting health minister YB Major General (R) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin said the Ministry of Health has identified 18 people Patient 148 has come into contact with.

Of these, 10 have tested negative for the coronavirus while the rest are still awaiting results.

The latest case is only the seventh imported case recorded since the government began easing restrictions back in May.

Brunei has not reported any local transmission of the virus for 169 days.

YB Dato Hj Aminuddin said 295 recent arrivals to the sultanate are currently undergoing mandatory self-isolation at desginated monitoring centers.

The government began relaxing curbs on foreign arrivals on September 15, allowing people to enter Brunei for essential or business travel, and reducing the time they must spend in mandatory isolation.

However, all arrivals must be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours before their departure to Brunei, and they will be tested a second time when they arrive in the country.

It is also a legal requirement for all visitors and residents in Brunei to use the contact-tracing app BruHealth every time they enter/exit a public place.

According to the most recent statistics, 14.3% of the country’s population has been tested for COVID-19.