Brunei’s Covid-19 success story garners global attention; 437 days without a local case


It's just another day as many Brunei people attend a cultural event in Bandar Seri Begawan recently. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, July 18 (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): Brunei's success story in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic with over a year without local transmissions has received global attention.

Over the past weeks, Indonesian media published the Sultanate’s secret recipe including the travel restrictions, quarantine, swab test, contact tracing, adherence of people to government rules and regulations as well as the standard operating procedures.

Spouse of Indonesia band Ungu, Adelia Pasha, was impressined, posting a video of a normal gathering in the Sultanate with participants not wearing masks.

She said Bruneians recite Zikir and read Al-Quran as a daily way of life.

In an article for East Asia Forum, political professor at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia William Case and postgraduate student Nadia Hamdan highlighted Bruneians’ loyalty to the government, coupled with comprehensive welfare programmes as the core of the country’s success in facing crises including Covid-19.

“People in Brunei Darussalam are very fortunate. They do not have to wear masks in public while public gatherings are also allowed,” said Susi, an Indonesian residing in the Sultanate for over 10 years.

Netizens outside the nation also remarked the Sultanate’s small population as the reason for the ability to control the outbreak along with Doa to Allah the Almighty and regular reading of Al-Quran on state radio and television.

Foreign netizens praised the Sultanate after photos of Bruneians visiting stalls to mark the royal birthday celebration were uploaded on social media. However, they urged Bruneians to be vigilant, stay safe and pray for neighbouring countries’ battle with COVID-19 to recede and the world free from the crisis, while wishing they were in Brunei.

The country’s pandemic control has achieved remarkable results thanks to the strong leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the government’s effective policies and public cooperation.

As of yesterday, the total number of cases recorded in the country was 283.

The last local Covid-19 case was 437 days ago on May 6, 2020.

The total number of imported cases since the last local case was reported was 142.

As of July 16, 106,086 or 23.4 per cent of the population has been administered with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while 19,125 people or 4.2 per cent have been administered with two doses.

Many nations are still grappling with the pandemic, especially with the rapid surge in infections following the emergence of new variants including Delta. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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