Guidelines in Curbing and Handling the COVID-19

By the command of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, it is hereby announced on the measures for curbing and controlling the pandemic. Coronavirus, COVID-19 announced as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization WHO and re-assessment by the Ministry of Health in line with the current development. Following are the guidelines in Curbing and handling the COVID-19 pandemic for Civil Service Staff of Brunei Darussalam.

* The Formation of Task Force

Every ministries and government departments are to form their respective task force in ensuring their administrative flow are unaffected.

Among the measure's which should be taken are as follows:

- Appointing the head and members of the Action Team, Team Leader must comprised of Administrative Director or equivalent

- Preparing and implementing Business Continuity Plan in facing pandemic on the Ministry or respective department level by introducing flexible working method if applicable.

- Implementing the guidelines or Standard Operating Procedure SOP Issued by the Ministry of Health in case the staffs of civil service are tested positive of COVID-19.

- Handling the scenario in case the civil service staff falls ill during working hours.

-Ensuring items such as hand sanitizer, hand soaps and other necessary items are available at suitable places especially at the main entrance and exits.

- Conducting body temperature checks on anyone entering the Department and Ministries.

- Increasing cleanliness level at work.

Attending Meeting/Seminars Abroad and Going Abroad On Personal Matters

-Approval would not be given to Staffs of Civil Service to go abroad, unless really necessary, for matters deemed important during the pandemic, subject to approval by the Prime Minister's Office through their respective Permanent Secretaries.

- For civil staff recently arriving in Brunei Darussalam especially from affected countries, they are to undergo 14 days quarantine at the isolation centres provided by the Ministry of Health or to do 14 days self-isolation according to the guidelines on category risk by the Ministry of Health or the press release available through the website at www.moh.gov.bn.

- The 14 days period for quarantine and self-isolation would not be deducted from the annual leave subject to confirmation from the Ministry of Health.

- Any Civil Servant conducting self-monitoring who has symptoms of fever or respiratory infections such as coughs, cold and breathing difficulties, should contact the Health Advice Line 148 to obtain further instruction from the Ministry of Health.

- Civil Servants who fall ill abroad from the affected countries are advised to postpone their return to Brunei Darussalam and to seek the assistance of Brunei Darussalam embassies in the said countries for further action. For the list of embassies, refer to Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: www.mfa.gov.bn

- Ministries and Government Departments as well as Statuary Bodies should defer any invitation to any visitor or person on transit from the affected countries.

Implementing the Declaration Procedure

Civil Service Staff or representatives are required to declare to their respective Department or Ministry:

- If the officer of staff is confirmed as infected by COVID-19;

- If the officer or staff is the closest contact of any person confirmed as covid-19 infected as far as known to him;

- If the officer or staff is the secondary contact, that is exposed to the closet contact as far as he knew; and

- If the officer or staff or closest contact has returned to Brunei Darussalam from overseas, especially from the affected countries.

A Civil Servant found failing to make a declaration or making a false declaration will be liable to legal action which is enforced currently.

Precautionary Measures for Officers and Staff Exposed To A Case Confirmed as COVID-19 Infected and Individuals Suspected of or Possibly Being Infected by COVID-19

* Exposed to individuals confirmed infected by COVID-19:

- Officer and Staff who have been exposed to an individual who has been confirmed to be infected by COVID-19 is the closest contact and should self-isolate and undergo COVID-19 tests according as instructed by the Ministry of Health.

- Self-isolation period will not be decuted from annual leave.

* Exposed to an individual suspected of or possibly being infected by COVID-19:

- Officer or staff who have been exposed to the closest contact that is a contact to an individual who has been confirmed infected by COVID-19 is a secondary contact. As a precautionary measure, the Permanent Secretary at the relevant Ministry should instruct the officer and staff who is the secondary contact to undergo self-isolation as an early action pending confirmation of the result of the COVID-19 swab test for the closest contact. The following action depends on the result of the COVID-19 swab test on the said closest contact and in accordance with the Ministry of Health's guidelines.

- The officer or staff or relevant Ministry should contact the Health Advice Line to seek further instructions from the Ministry of Health and if during the Self-Isolation, they have symptoms of fever or respiratory infection such as coughs, cold and breathing difficulty.

- The Self-Isolation Period will not be deducted from eligible annual leave.

* Ministries or Government Departments are not allowed to conduct any mass event or activity for the time being.

* If any Civil Service Staff fails to obey the quarantine directive, self-isolation, fails to make a declaration or makes a false declaration that could endanger the public, then the authorities will take legal action based on current laws.

* The Statuary Bodies are required to apply The Guidelines on Control and Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic for the Brunei Darussalam Civil Service contained in this Circular.

* Hereby, the Circulars of the Prime Minister's Officer Number 01/2020, 03/2020 and OS/2020 are cancelled.

* This Circular is effective from the date of its issuance and will be updated from time to time according to the latest requirements and developments.

Source: Radio Television Brunei