BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Law enforcers will start issuing $100 on-the-spot fines to people who failed to use the BruHealth app in public places, the health ministry said on Monday.

The government made it mandatory for Brunei residents to use the contact tracing app from September 25, in an attempt to mitigate and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Those who do not have BruHealth must be accompanied by someone who has installed the app on their mobile phone, such as their caregivers, employers, managers or friends, and they must be registered on that person’s BruHealth account.

BruHealth was launched in May last year to track potential carriers of COVID-19 as users were required to scan QR codes every time they enter business premises.

The health ministry previously said public participation of 80 percent and above is needed for the app to be effective in curbing the coronavirus outbreak.

Linked to the BruHIMS patient data system, the app is also used to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

160 new cases reported; one COVID-19 patient passes way

The health ministry detected 160 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases on Monday, down 37 percent from a day earlier.

The cumulative confirmed infections have risen to 6,700, of which 95 percent were recorded in the current outbreak.

Three new clusters were identified on Monday, including two household clusters and a mass testing operation at Kampung Subok with five cases.

There are now 110 active clusters after two clusters — oil firm TOTAL and 2155 — were closed without new infections over the past 28 days.

The Champion 7 oil field is still the largest active cluster with 426 infections, followed by Chung Hua Middle School Belait (298 cases) and The Mall in Gadong (174 cases).

The ministry also confirmed the death of a 67-year-old man who was diagnosed with the coronavirus. However, his death is not classified as COVID-related.

Brunei’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 29.

A total of 117 people were discharged in the past 24 hours, taking the number of active cases to 2,212.

Over 60 percent of the active cases are in Brunei-Muara district.

Forty-six people are in the intensive care unit, including eight critically ill patients.