More than 70 per cent reported cases from rapid tests, surge in hotline calls

About 75 to 80 percent of the COVID-19 cases reported in Brunei currently are from Antigen Rapid Test (ART) results performed at home, said Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy on behalf of Minister of Health.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew in a press briefing reminded members of the public to report their ART results and update their daily health status in the BruHealth application to help the government monitor the COVID-19 situation in the country more effectively.

“It will also be able to help the government to control this pandemic better,” the minister said.

Furthermore, the Health Advice Line 148 and Talian Darussalam 123 have received a huge number of calls from the public since the announcement of using ART kits as the default test for COVID-19 since 15 February.

“On average, there are about 7,000 to 10,000 calls received daily from Talian Darussalam 123 whereby only 15 to 20 percent of calls can be answered,” the minister said.

According to the statistics, most calls were related to colour coding issues of the BruHealth application, inquiries on health protocols and food rationing for cases and close contacts.

The minister further said that a whole-of-government approach to be implemented to address the situation.

“To update the BruHealth application which will allow cases or close contacts to make a choice whether they need food rations or not,” he said.

As of 3 March, the Department of Community Development and Youth Volunteers have delivered food rations to some 35,078 houses, accomodating 180,462 individuals nationwide.

Food rations are delivered to about a thousand houses daily by volunteers, after the process of updating the list of applicants received from the Ministry of Health.

“Currently, operations at ration centers are affected due to the increasing number of applicants during this third wave. Improvement actions have been identified to be implemented and InsyaAllah, with the cooperation of government agencies, the private sector and volunteers, the delivery of food rations will be able to be expedited,” the minister shared.

Moreover, in collaboration with Comquest company, pre-logged messages of frequently asked questions will be introduced in Talian Darussalam 123 as well as increasing the number of staff at Talian Darussalam 123 to receive calls promptly.

“The government will also strive to improve and enhance the dissemination of important information that the public needs to know such as the latest health protocols, food rations and so on so that the information is easily available and not leaving the public to wonder,” said the second minister of finance.

This article was first published on 05 March 2022 in our Weekly Epaper issue 183 | 


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