Welcome to our COVID-19 live blog where we bring you the latest updates on the rapidly evolving situation in Brunei. For all coronavirus-related coverage, including charts and infographics, head to our COVID-19 hub.


90 new cases reported on Sunday

5.44pm | Sept 19

Some 90 new coronavirus cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases to 5,047.

A total of 122 people recovered and were discharged from isolation facilities, bringing the number of recovered people to 3,457.

The health ministry said are currently 91 active clusters in Brunei comprising 1,558 people.

MoH said it will continue with surveillance testing in high density areas as it tries to assess the scale of the second wave.


Banks receive 622 loan repayment deferral applications

7.38pm | Sept. 18 

Banks have approved 39 percent of 622 loan deferment applications from businesses that sought financial assistance amid Brunei’s most serious COVID-19 outbreak, according to figures from the Ministry of Finance and Economy.

From August 7 to September 15, financial institutions have rejected 18 businesses and individuals that did not meet the criteria to defer their loan repayments.

Disclosing the data in a press briefing on Saturday, the second minister of finance and economy said 350 applications were still awaiting approval from banks.

YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said 17 of the 18 rejected applications involved individuals who requested to temporarily stop the payment of their debts, such as housing loans.

Bank loan deferrals were part of MoFE’s relief measures for businesses affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.

The minister further said about 60 companies sought to delay their Employees Trust Fund contributions to over 600 employees.

As of September 7, more than 70 businesses have applied for the 25 percent wage subsidy for over 600 local staff.

The wage subsidy supports private sector employers to continue paying Bruneian employees who earn $1,500 and below.

Full story here.


AstraZeneca jabs to be offered from Sunday

6.25pm | Sept. 18 

The health ministry will start administering Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines on Sunday, two days after Australia became the fourth country to donate 100,000 vaccine doses to Brunei.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered to all adults, but members of the public can request to take the Sinopharm jab at vaccination sites, Health Minister YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Isham said on Saturday.

He added that Brunei is still expecting the delivery of 300,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 300,000 doses of Novavax vaccine through the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility and 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jab.

The ministry will also start mass COVID-19 testing on targeted groups and high-density areas on Saturday night.

With the increasing number of cases involving retail and restaurant employees living in dormitories, the minister said mass surveillance testing will be conducted in stages.

The ministry Saturday confirmed the deaths of two COVID-19 patients.

A 51-year-old man succumbed to the virus while an 82-year-old man with underlying health issues is not classified as a COVID-related death. The official death toll stands at 22.

An additional 143 coronavirus infections were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the number of active cases to 1,590.


Australia donates AstraZeneca vaccines to Brunei

11pm | Sept. 17 

The Australian government has donated 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Brunei, with the shipment touching down in the sultanate Friday night.

“Australia is pleased to assist Brunei’s COVID-19 response,” said Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner Chintana Vongpaseut, who handed over the vaccines to Pg Datin Shzainah Pg DP Shariffuddin, permanent secretary at Brunei’s foreign affairs ministry.

“Sharing Australian-manufactured vaccines with Brunei is a further demonstration of how Australia is stepping up to ensure those in our region, including Brunei, have access to safe and effective vaccines.”

Australia is the fourth country to donate vaccines to the sultanate, with Singapore, China and Japan each contributing 100,000 doses in the past month to help Brunei deal with a vaccine shortage.

Read the full story here


139 new cases; one death

5.32pm | Sept. 17 

A 77-year-old woman has become Brunei’s 21st COVID fatality after she succumbed to lung infection earlier today.

A total of 139 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, while 112 people have recovered.

The health ministry said blood supplies at the RIPAS Blood Donation Centre are running low and called on members of the public to step forward and donate blood.

Blood can be donated at all district hospitals, except Tutong, which is currently being used to support treatment of COVID patients.

Blood donation appointments can be made via the BloodKad app.

Full story here


Technical glitch causes frustration for thousands awaiting rescheduled vax appointments

7.16pm | Sept. 16 

The Ministry of Health said it is in the process of rescheduling vaccination slots for those who had their bookings cancelled two weeks ago due to the vaccine shortage.

The ministry said technical issues occurred with the appointment system today when new slots were released for bookings, affecting 1,600 people.

Health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham said people affected by the error just need to wait and their appointments will automatically be rescheduled on the BruHealth app.

Full story here.


109 new infections today

6.23pm | Sept. 16 

A total of 109 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, bringing Brunei’s cumulative number of cases since March 2020 to 4,675.

Some 165 recoveries were also recorded today, bringing down the number of people with active infections to 1,502.

Ten people are in critical condition.

Full story here.


Two jabs doses 83% effective in preventing COVID infection

9pm | Sept. 15 

COVID-19 vaccines have been highly effective in preventing most coronavirus cases in Brunei despite breakthrough infections.

The latest data from the health ministry showed that one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine reduced the risk of infection by 75.8 percent. This increased to 82.9 percent with two doses.

While the health ministry did not give a breakdown on the effectiveness of each vaccine type, Brunei has used Sinopharm, AstraZeneca and Moderna since its vaccination rollout began in April.

Among positive cases in the second wave, a total of 76 percent were unvaccinated, while 16 percent were partially vaccinated with one dose, and 8.4 percent were double-jabbed.

Full story here. 


135 new COVID cases; two deaths

6.47pm | Sept. 15 

Sadly, another two COVID patients passed away today – a 41-year-old woman and 77-year-old man. They both developed lung infections as a result of the coronavirus.

A total of 135 new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours; and six new household clusters identified.

Full story here.


MoH to offer Pfizer jab to adolescents

9pm | Sept. 14 

With delivery of 300,000 doses of Pfizer expected by the end of the year, the health ministry said it will likely make the vaccine available to children over 12.

Many countries including Singapore and the US have already rolled out Pfizer to younger citizens, while drugmakers are awaiting clinical trial data on the effect of the vaccine on younger children.

Fifteen percent of Brunei’s COVID cases are between 10 and 19 years old, while 12% are between 0 to 9.

Full story here


Japan donates 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca

5.16pm | Sept. 14 

The Ministry of Health announced that the Japanese government has donated 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is slated to arrive in Brunei by the end of September.

China made a similar donation on Sunday, contributing 100,000 doses of Sinopharm.

MoH said both contributions will enable the government to resume administration of first dose vaccinations, after suspending it for two weeks due to a vaccine shortage.

Full story here.


108 new infections reported

4.56pm | Sept. 14 

A total of 108 new infections have been reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 4,431.

Another 102 people recovered today, bringing the number of people with active infections to 1,548.

The Ministry of Health also announced that it has increased capacity at isolation facilities at Mahad Islam College, Tutong and Belait Six Form Centre – two venues that have been converted to makeshift holding areas for COVID patients with mild symptoms.

Full story here.


160 new cases reported; two COVID patients die

4.20pm | Sept. 13 

A total of 160 new COVID-19 cases reported today.

Two COVID patients have died – a 42-year-old woman from a lung infection and a 77-year-old man of septicaemia. The latter is not classified as a COVID-related death.

To date, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases stands at 4,323 — 92 percent (3,984) of which have been reported since August 7.

Health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham said 75 percent of these cases were unvaccinated, while 16 percent were partially vaccinated with one dose and eight percent were fully vaccinated with two doses.


China helps ease Brunei’s vaccine shortage with Sinopharm donation

11.47pm | Sept. 12

The Chinese government has donated 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, providing a boost to the sultanate’s vaccination efforts.

The delivery is the second batch of Sinopharm vaccines donated by China.

Beijing contributed 52,000 doses back in February and it was used in the initial rollout of the country’s vaccination programme.

The Chinese ambassador Yu Hong handed over the donation to Second Minister of Foreign Affairs YB Dato Hj Erywan PDPJ Hj Md Yusof at Brunei International Airport.

Full story here.

China donated 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Brunei on Sept. 12, 2021. Photo: Rudolf Portillo/The Scoop

Temburong vaccination centre moved to Belalong Community Hall

6.39pm | Sept. 12

The vaccination centre at the PIHM Hospital, Temburong will be moved to the Belalong Community Hall from Monday, September 13.

The centre will be operational from Monday to Thursday and Saturday, from 8.15am-11.30am and 1.45pm-3.30pm.


128 new cases; two COVID patients die

5.20pm | Sept. 12 

Another two COVID-19 patients have died today – a 30-year-old man of a lung infection and a 54-year-old woman who had several underlying health problems. The latter is not considered a COVID-related death.

A total of 128 infections were reported in the past 24 hours, with six new household clusters identified.

Another baby was born at the National Isolation Centre to a COVID-positive mother. The health ministry said both mother and child are in good health.

Some 106 recoveries were recorded today, bringing the number of active cases to 1,491.

Full story here.


Gov’t introduces ID bracelets to deter people from breaking quarantine

5.51pm | Sept. 11 

From the Ministry of Health:

As an additional measure on the control of COVID- 19, the Ministry of Health has initiated the use wrist bracelet for those who have been identified positive for COVID-19 and also for contacts who have been instructed to undergo quarantine orders.

The wrist bracelet will be fastened by authorities to those concerned during their visits to patients’ homes to transfer patients to isolation facilities; or at swab centres when patients or close contacts are instructed to undergo swab tests. Those who have been instructed to use the wrist bracelet are required to wear the bracelet at all times until they have completed their self-isolation period.

Anyone who violates the regulation on the use of the wrist bracelet will be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204).

For the public’s information, there are two colours of wrist bracelets used, namely red for COVID-19 patients and blue for close contacts or those who are instructed to undergo self-isolation after taking a swab test.

Full story here.


Cumulative number of cases cross the 4,000 mark

5.35pm | Sept. 11 

A total of 141 new infections have been reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases reported since March 9, 2020 to 4,035.

The heath ministry also confirmed that a 62-year-old COVID patient has died of septicaemia, but said his death was not related to the coronavirus.

Another COVID patient also gave birth to a baby girl via caesarean section. Both mother and child are in good health.

Five new clusters have been identified — the majority of them household clusters, as well as one at Lof Bakery involving 15 people.

Some 123 recoveries were also recorded today, meaning the total number of people with active infections stands at 1,471.

Full story here.


79-year-old man dies; 63 new infections

5.21pm | Sept. 10

A 79-year-old man has died after developing a lung infection – Brunei’s sixteenth COVID death.

A total of 63 new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, as well as 105 recoveries.

The number of active cases stands at 1,454.

Full story here.


MoH confirms positive case at Sengkurong health centre

6.34pm | Sept. 9

A nurse at the Jubli Perak Sengkurong Health Centre has tested positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed after a message went viral on social media.

MoH said it is currently testing and quarantining anyone who has had close contact with the individual.

Health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham advised patients and visitors to the health centre not to panic, saying anyone who shows signs of infection should go for testing immediately.

Services at the health centre will run as usual after disinfecting of the facility.

Full story here.


29-year-old woman dies two weeks after giving birth

5.45pm | Sept. 9

A 29-year-old woman with COVID-19 has died after developing a lung infection.

The woman tested positive for the virus last month and gave birth to a baby via caesarean section on August 24 while she was receiving treatment at the National Isolation Centre.

After the birth, she was admitted to the ICU as she required the assistance of artificial ventilation and a heart/lung machine (ECMO).

The health ministry did not release further details about the patient to protect the privacy of the family.

A total of 148 new coronavirus cases were reported in the past 24 hours, as well as 164 recoveries. The number of people with active COVID-19 infections stands at 1,497.

Full story here.


116 new cases reported in past 24 hours

4.45pm | Sept. 8 

A total of 116 new infections were reported today, and two new clusters identified. The number of active clusters is 56, while a large  number of unlinked cases are still being contact traced.

Ninety-one people recovered in the past 24 hours, putting the number of active cases at 1,514.

The Ministry of Health said they will no longer allow people with mild COVID symptoms to quarantine at home, citing several incidents where people have left the house in breach of government-issued quarantine orders.

MoH said authorities are reviewing these incidents for legal action to be taken.

Health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham said COVID patients quarantining at home will be transferred to government isolation facilities over the next few days, adding that expansion of isolation facilities means there are now enough beds to accommodate all positive patients.

He said there are around 400 people still at home who will be transferred in the coming days.

Full story here.


COVID-19 Relief Fund reaches $2 million

6.24pm | Sept. 7 

The COVID-19 Releif Fund has received $2.17 million in public donations since it was reactivated on August 11.

Members of the public and companies can now also donate to the relief fund via Baiduri Bank, in addition to the fund’s existing BIBD account.

The details are as follows:

Account name: COVID-19 Relief Fund

Account type: Current account

Account number: 00-135-554-583-95

The fund will be used by the health ministry to purchase equipment and essential goods needed to combat the current outbreak.

The fund is managed by the the Treasury Department under the Ministry of Finance and Economy. Withdrawals can only be made with approval of the Second Minister of Finance and Economy and the Minister of Health.


103 new infections; one death

5.32pm | Sept. 7 

Brunei reported its fourteenth COVID-related death on Tuesday, marking a grim milestone as the second wave officially hit the one-month mark.

The latest fatality was a 92-year-old man, who died after developing a lung infection.

Eleven people have died from COVID-related ailments in the past month.

The sultanate’s second wave of infections shows little sign of abating, with 103 new infections reported in the past 24 hours.

A total of 187 people have also recovered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of people with active infections to 1,489.

Full story here


MoH approves 9 self-test kits

6.12pm | Sept. 6

The health ministry has authorised another five antigen rapid test kits for sale domestically.

MoH has also warned the public about unapproved tests kits that maybe available locally, saying they may not meet the standard of quality or accuracy required by the ministry.

It stressed that ART kits should only be used as a screening tool, and not as a diagnosis.

There are a total of nine self-test kits approved for sale:


135 new cases detected; one death

4.28pm | Sept. 6

A 44-year-old woman with COVID-19 has died after developing a lung infection, the Ministry of Health said in press briefing this afternoon.

A total of 135 new cases were reported today, with a new cluster identified at Rimba Point. So far MoH has linked 45 cases to the shopping centre.

Some 263 people have made recoveries in the past 24 hours – a daily record.

The number of people with active infections stands at 1,574.

Full story here.


‘Volunteers shouldn’t risk themselves for a photo op’

6.35pm | September 5

Speaking on public donations to frontliners, the health minister discouraged volunteers from entering quarantine centres to document the distribution of aid.

He said there were incidents where donors insisted that volunteers take photos of them handing over donations to recipients.

“It is not as simple as taking a photo because volunteers will need to go inside [quarantine centres], then they’ll have to wear PPE and unnecessarily expose themselves to a positive patient just to take a photo for that person,” said YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham.

“We do not encourage this. It’s unnecessarily exposing them to infection, and unnecessarily wasting PPE just to take these photos.”

The minister reassured the public that their donations will reach the intended recipients.

He added that all donations should be directed to the COVID-19 Donation Centre at Menglait Sports Complex, which will coordinate and distribute donations to the patients and frontliners.

Members of the public who wish to donate can contact the MOH Emergency Operation Centre (MOHEOC) at 7295712 during working hours.


110 new cases; 1 death

5.42pm | Sept. 5

A 60-year-old woman with COVID-19 died today, the health ministry confirmed.

It said the cause of death is still under investigation, and did not specifically attribute her death to COVID-19.

A total of 110 new infections were reported on Sunday, as well as 140 recoveries.

The number of active cases under quarantine stands at 1,703.

Eight people remain in critical condition, while 29 are in ICU.
Full story here.


MoH records 126 new cases, two deaths

5.36pm | Sept. 4

The health ministry announced on Saturday that another two COVID-19 patients have died.

A 50-year-old man, identified as Case 2077, died of a lung infection after contracting the coronavirus.

The ministry is still investigating the death of Patient 3148, a 76-year-old man.

A total of 126 new coronavirus infections were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the number of active cases to 1,734.

Some 171 people were discharged overnight, marking the highest number of recoveries in a day.
Full story here.


133 new infections reported

5.47pm | Sept. 3

The Ministry of Health reported 133 new cases today, from a total of 4,603 samples tested – a positive rate of 2.8 percent.

From the 133 new cases, 62 are part of existing clusters while 71 are still being investigated to determine the source of infection.

Some 152 people have also recovered and been allowed to return home, bringing down the number of active cases to 1,781.

Nine people remain in critical condition.

Health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham said although Brunei is experiencing a vaccine shortage, the country has already inoculated 51 percent of the population with at least one dose, while 23 percent have been fully vaccinated with a two-dose regimen.
Full story here.


Partial lockdown extended until Oct 3

6.02pm | Sept. 2

The government has announced that current movement restrictions will continue until October 3.

Health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham said with the vaccine shortage and daily cases still surpassing the 100-mark, it was necessary to extend the lockdown.

Brunei recorded 102 new coronavirus cases on Thursday — as well as 91 recoveries — bringing the total number of active cases to 1,801.

An 84-year-old COVID patient also passed away today, but MoH said he suffered from several health issues and his death was not attributed to COVID-19.
Full story here.


‘Don’t cancel your first dose booking’: MoH

5.23pm | Sept. 1

In light of the current vaccine shortage, the Ministry of Health told residents not to cancel their first dose appointments on the BruHealth app, as they will automatically be rescheduled to a later date once more vaccines become available.

Yesterday the ministry announced it would have to temporarily halt first-dose bookings from September 1, except for a limited number of seniors, pregnant women and special needs individuals.

Health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham said the government is currently negotiating a vaccine swap with Singapore in order to procure vaccines faster.

This would mean that Brunei would accept delivery of vaccines intended for Singapore — where 78 percent of residents are already fully vaccinated — and replace them at a later date.

The minister said that any such agreement would also require approval from the vaccine manufacturer: “There’s a lot of legal matters involved. So, it is not that easy to make an exchange.”

He did not disclose which vaccine type would be covered in a potential agreement.

Australia, which like Brunei is also seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, recently negotiated a vaccine swap with Singapore in order to secure early access to 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Full story here.


Two deaths from COVID-19; 146 new cases reported

4.27pm | Sept. 1

Two people have died of a lung infection after contracting COVID-19, the health ministry confirmed today.

The first was a 25-year-old man who tested positive for the virus on August 24; while the second was a 54-year-old woman who tested positive on August 12.

A total of 146 new infections were reported today from 3,059 samples tested in the past 24 hours.
Full story here.