Roundup: Brunei extends Early Endemic Phase with Chinese New Year celebration guidelines issued

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 11, 2022
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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Brunei government announced on Monday that the Early Endemic Phase under the National COVID-19 Recovery Framework will be extended for another month from Jan. 15 to Feb. 14, with guidelines issued for the coming Chinese New Year celebrations.

According to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the updated guidelines during the Early Endemic Phase announced on Dec. 12, 2021, will be extended for another month.

Movement restrictions or the instruction to stay at home will also be extended until Feb. 14. However, the period will be shortened from midnight to 4:00 a.m..

"This would enable businesses to help improve the economy and enhance the well-being of all, whilst ensuring that the COVID-19 situation remains under control," the PMO said.

"This extension also allows more time for the government to ensure that infection cases, as well as bed occupancy rates at isolation centers, remain low; for the coverage of vaccine booster doses to increase; and subsequently for the provision of vaccinations for children aged five to 11 years old," the PMO added.

Meanwhile, Brunei's home affairs ministry announced the guidelines related to events in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration for 2022.

For celebrations held in a hall, the capacity limit is at the rate of 75 percent of the total capacity or a maximum of 300 people (whichever is lower), according to the limit during the Early Endemic Phase with a duration not exceeding two hours.

If the celebration is held in a private residence, only immediate family members can join the event, and the gathering should be restricted to no more than 30 guests at a time.

The Lion Dance event for the Chinese New Year celebration is allowed for household members living in the same house only. Other family members or friends are not allowed to be invited.

The home affairs ministry said that the Lion Dance event can be held at the residential area of school governing committee members, advisers, prominent people in the Chinese community as well as at the temple area.

The Lion Dance can also be held in school halls but not permitted to be held in public places such as hotels, restaurants and department stores.

Brunei reported 44 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total tally to 15,678.

According to Brunei's Ministry of Health, the newly recorded cases included 14 local infections and 30 imported cases.

The health ministry also said since the Early Endemic Phase began on Dec. 15, 2021, 315 cases have been detected in the country, where 114 are imported cases.

From Nov. 22, 2021 to Jan. 10, 2022, the gene sequencing method was performed on 460 samples from positive cases detected in Brunei, where 441 were found to be the Delta variant while 19 samples were confirmed as the Omicron variant.

"So far, all the Omicron variant cases detected in the country are cases imported from abroad while the Delta variant cases are comprised of local and foreign cases," the health ministry said in a statement.

As of Jan. 9, 2022, 94.6 percent of Brunei's population had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, while 93.6 percent had completed their vaccination schedule of two doses and 28.2 percent had received three doses.

A total of 212 active cases are still being treated and monitored in Brunei, and so far 102 patients have passed away. Enditem

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