BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Ministry of Health (MoH) has stopped issuing daily updates on the number of active COVID-19 cases and new infections on Wednesday.

In a social media post, the ministry said it will no longer report daily new coronavirus cases from June 22 as Brunei’s “early endemic phase has ended”.

However, other information such as number of ICU patients, recovered cases and vaccination statistics will still be provided.

Responding to a request for comment on whether MoH will disclose the weekly average of new COVID infections, the ministry said it will address coronavirus-related questions in the next press briefing on Monday.

While the ministry did not explain the rationale behind the decision to halt the daily update of infection numbers, health officials previously said it would focus on hospitalisations to manage the virus as endemic.

The move to stop reporting daily new coronavirus cases comes at a time when Brunei has been seeing an upward trend in new infections over the past week.

The weekly COVID caseload jumped 46 percent to 3,930 infections from June 13-19, compared to 2,691 cases in the previous week.

Last week’s case count represented 13 percent of the peak in March, which was fuelled by the Omicron BA.2 variant.

With the sultanate transitioning to a new normal of living with the virus, MoH earlier said the loosening of public health control measures had contributed to the rise in cases.

Brunei lifted most COVID curbs when its early endemic phase ended on May 31, including no capacity limit for social gatherings and all students were allowed to resume in-person learning.