The Ministry of Health has confirmed the first imported case of the Omicron variant in Brunei which arrived in the country from the United Kingdom on 17 December 2021.
Health Minister Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Isham in a press briefing on Thursday said that the case was quarantined upon arrival and all close contacts were also instructed to undergo laboratory tests and self-isolation.
“The case is currently in good health and no longer experiencing any signs of infection,” he said, adding that scientific findings on the Omicron variant show that although it is more transmissible than the Delta variant, the effects or infections are less severe.
The minister further said that based on findings of a study in South Africa, the increase in cases due to Omicron including the speed of reaching the peak of the infection is faster than other variants.
“Currently, the infection wave due to the Omicron variant in South Africa is already declining,” continued YB Dato Isham.
Meanwhile, data from London shows that the Omicron variant was found to cause fewer hospitalisations and deaths, although more cases were reported in the previous wave.
“This is supported by findings where the actual infection of the Omicron variant requiring hospital treatment in London is lower than the projection calculated based on the Delta variant data,” he added.
Meanwhile, scientific studies have also found that although two doses of the vaccine can provide good protection against the severe effects of the Omicron variant, the third dose will provide higher protection against the infection and even mild symptoms.
The minister further said that considering the scientific findings, the public is advised not to feel anxious with the detection of the first case of the Omicron variant in the country.
“The preventive and control measures for any of the COVID-19 variants are the same. Therefore, continue to take precautionary measures such as wearing a face mask, washing hands regularly, practicing physical distancing and avoiding going to crowded places,” he said.
He added: “What is important is for anyone who has completed two doses of the vaccination to get a booster dose injection as soon as they are eligible to receive it which is three months after the second dose was obtained.”
Scientific studies have found that administering the third dose or booster dose can increase the body’s resistance or immunity to COVID-19 infections, including the Omicron variant.
“Let us pray that all citizens and residents will continue to be under the protection of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and safeguarded from all dangers and harms especially from the COVID-19 infection. Aamiin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin,” concluded the minister. – Analisa Amu
This article was first published on 25 December 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 173 | More stories here
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN