BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – 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.

During a press briefing, health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar said two new clusters have been identified, bringing the number of active clusters to 54. 

When asked if MoH would disclose the location of unnamed clusters — which are often denoted with just a number in the daily breakdown — the health minister said unnamed clusters are people linked within a certain household that are not related to infections stemming from a public place, such as a shopping mall or workplace.

He added that if people wanted to avoid places with a high concentration of COVID-19 cases, they could access the dynamic map on the BruHealth app which indicates where positive individuals have been in the past two weeks.

Commenting on businesses that do not allow people with yellow BruHealth codes to enter their premises, YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham said these individuals do not pose a risk to the public, but rather they have yellow health codes because they are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. 

“Business owners need to understand what yellow code is. It’s basically for people who are at higher risk to be infected with COVID-19 – this means they have non-communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, lung diseases, etc.”

“It’s basically to remind the person that they are at risk if they go out, so don’t go out.”

‘Delta can reinfect recovered COVID patients’

Responding to a media question, the minister said it is possible for recovered COVID patients to be reinfected with the Delta variant of the virus.

“This is a slightly different virus… There have been instances in other countries where people were infected last year, but when another variant emerges, they get infected again although the symptoms are not that bad.

Relief fund crosses $2 million

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