Brunei: Six active cases remain at NIC; vaccination to start after arrival of Covid-19 vaccine from China

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Feb 14 (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): Six active Covid-19 cases are receiving treatment at the National Isolation Centre (NIC) in the Tutong District, while no new cases were reported in the Sultanate as of yesterday.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) said the number of Covid-19 cases in Brunei Darussalam remains at 184, with 175 recoveries.

The last local transmissions was reported on May 6,2020, with 43 imported cases being reported since then.

A total of 621 individuals are undergoing mandatory self-isolation at government monitoring centres, with 12,874 have completed their stint since March 2020.

In the past 24 hours, the MoH has taken 306 samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus testing, recording a total number of 95,559 tests since January 2020.

Meanwhile, Brunei's Ministry of Health said in a press release on Wednesday (Feb 10) that the country received a batch of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine donated by China on Tuesday and is reviewing a vaccination program.

In March 2020, at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brunei provided assistance to China, which underscored the close bilateral cooperation towards managing the pandemic, the ministry said.

The ministry said they are still reviewing the plans for the distribution of the vaccine in accordance with the recommended priorities.

According to the Chinese embassy in Brunei, the sultanate's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Haji Erywan attended the handover ceremony on Tuesday and held a discussion with Yu Hong, Chinese ambassador to Brunei.

Haji Erywan expressed his gratitude to China, saying that this is the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine received by Brunei, which is considered a gift given by the Chinese people to the people of Brunei, reflecting the long-term traditional friendship and deep mutual trust between the two countries.

He said that the Chinese vaccine would play an important role for Brunei to overcome the epidemic. Brunei is willing to take the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the 30th anniversary of China-Asean dialogue relations as an opportunity to promote bilateral relations and China-ASEAN relations to a new level, he added.

Ambassador Yu told Haji Erywan that China's COVID-19 vaccine assistance to Brunei reflects a new climax of bilateral cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic.

"At present, global COVID-19 vaccines are mainly distributed to a few developed countries, although the vaccines are crucial for all countries to restart their economies. Under such circumstances, China's vaccine assistance to Brunei highlights the true friendship between our two countries," the ambassador said during the discussion.

Yu said that China has been earnestly acting on its pledge that once developed and deployed, Chinese vaccines will be made a global public good, contributing to the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries.- Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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