BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Four Bruneian students have tested positive for COVID-19 in Egypt, the religious affairs minister confirmed in a press briefing on Thursday.

YB Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin Pengarah DP Hj Othman said the four students are asymptomatic and in good condition.

All 30 Bruneian students currently in Egypt have been ordered to get tested for COVID-19.

“When the first case was detected, all students in Cairo were ordered to take swab tests in phases and to self-isolate at their respective residences. So far, 15 people have taken the swab test,” the religious minister said.

The 30 Bruneians are studying in Egypt’s Al-Azhar University and Alexandria University, while 196 students have returned to Brunei.

The positive cases come after Egypt tightened public health control measures, banning large gatherings due to a steady rise in coronavirus infections.

Health Minister YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Isham Hj Jaafar, who was also present at the press conference, said Egypt is now facing its third wave of COVID-19.

“The total number of confirmed cases is close to 240,000 with more than 13,000 deaths. This is a concern and we will continue to monitor the situation,” he said.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Badaruddin said his ministry is working with the health ministry and Brunei’s embassy in Egypt to monitor the students’ health.

Contact tracing of students and staff is underway, while food and medical supplies are provided, he added.

The ministry in a statement said students who are in Egypt should adhere to social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Students were also advised to provide daily updates of their condition to the authorities.

Further enquiries on Bruneian students in Egypt can be directed to the Department of Islamic Studies’ Human Resources and Scholarship Division at Level 14, Block 2J, or call 2231064 or email