The battle continues since the second wave and now we are in the mid of the third wave while other countries are already in their fifth. Despite averaging at 2,000 cases per day (in the past few days), Brunei won’t be reverting back to restrictions.
There are mixed feelings from the public with the current situation. Many are anxious with the increasing number. Some are optimistic as long as we adhere to the Standard of Procedures (SOPs) from the Ministry of Health. Some are even questioning the fact that the National Day celebration/parade is still proceeding though the numbers of participants have decreased from last year’s. I believe as long as strict measures are in place, the upcoming event won’t be a spreader, InsyaAllah.
For me, personally, I am on the fence on attending crowded events. Perhaps, this is a true test for Brunei if we are able to cope with the high numbers. Even the reporting of the Press Conferences have been delivered in a different manner, acknowledging first the number of patients in Category 4 (those requiring oxygen assistance) and Category 5 (those requiring artificial ventilation & treated in ICU) only then announcing the daily number of cases in Brunei Darussalam. I believe that the number of Cat 4 & 5 are better indicators and more important than the number of daily cases.
I am still impressed with some of the actions from the public though. The fact that we are in the “Early Endemic Phase” (with less restrictions), people are quite vigilant and not taking unnecessary risk to head out in public places such as malls and cafes. Dine-ins have recently taken a nose dive ever since the number of cases rose to record numbers. Food delivery apps (GoMamam, TaPow) are back in demand as many opted for take aways. It’s good to see that many are able to make a conscious decision.
It will be interesting how this strategy will panned out in the coming weeks. With a number reaching almost 18,000 active cases, MOH have allowed those in Category 1 and 2 to undergo self-isolation at their own homes so it will help to lessen the strain at the National Isolation Centre.
It’s yet to be known if Brunei numbers have peaked and it’s pretty tricky to predict as well, knowing how unpredictable the latest variant, Omicron, can be. It’s just unfortunate that the number of deaths have steadily increased in the past week.
Honestly speaking, despite the assurance that Omicron is less severe than Delta variant, I am still quite fearful of being infected and furthermore, I have been boosted since January. Just recently I am in a close contact with a friend whom I met at an opened space and I had to do a responsible thing by self-isolating myself for a few days. I know it’s a matter of time that one will either be infected or at least a “close contact” and with lesser restrictive movements and closures, the number of close contacts/QOs will be on a high.
I believe the relevant agencies have done their due diligence, in tackling the virus. We will hit the two year mark since the outbreak in March 2020 and the way forward is to accept that we will have to live with the virus (whether we like it or not).
For now, our greatest weapon to tackle (the virus) is by being accountable and responsible for our actions and adhere to the SOPs that have been provided by the Brunei Government.
This is Rano, signing off. Stay safe and take care.