Brunei at ‘low risk’ for Ebola

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NO CASES of Ebola have been reported in Brunei, and the country is assessed to be at “low risk” for the disease, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said yesterday.

The assessment was made based on risk analysis and information received from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The public is therefore urged not to panic or worry about the situation,” the ministry said, in a statement.

The MoH said that passengers arriving in the country through Brunei International Airport since October 17 have been required to complete a Health Declaration Card, which has been recently reinstated.

“Those identified as arriving from affected countries will undergo a health examination,” the MoH said.

The ministry is strengthening its preparedness to facing any outbreak, including through the dissemination of information as well as prevention and control measures, and ensuring national preparedness and response requirements – including standard operating procedures in line with WHO’s guidelines and best practices in managing infectious diseases, such as Ebola.

Apart from continuing to monitor the Ebola situation (nationally and globally), the MoH is also taking additional measures such as ensuring the readiness of the National Isolation Centre, making provisions for treatment requirements such as sufficient drugs and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and conducting tabletop exercises to test the appropriateness and operationalisation of the Ebola Virus Disease Preparedness Plan for Brunei.

The ministry is also strengthening cooperation networks with regional health institutions and the WHO for clinical management including laboratory tests.

Until October 14, the WHO reported over 9,000 cases of Ebola, with over 4,000 deaths in affected countries — including Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea — where the majority of cases have been reported in.

“As a precaution, the MoH would like to advise the public to avoid visiting the affected areas, especially where widespread and sustained transmission of the Ebola Virus Disease is reported.“Whenever necessary, (we) will inform the public of any developments regarding the outbreak,” the ministry further said.

Some nations around the region are also taking precautionary measures to screen out sick travelers in a similar effort to avert the Ebola outbreak.

The Brunei Times